During the last three weeks, we have seen one news “bombshell” after another drop, for anyone who is moderately alert. “Bombshell” is a popular word these days, perhaps because for once it really does seem to describe our times. Writing this on the eve of the July 4th weekend, it occurs to me that this year’s Independence Day will feel like no other—at least not in our lifetimes. US engagement in an escalating war in Europe that involves four, potentially five, nuclear powers; bitter controversies over not just one Supreme Court ruling but many; now new information about our shaky democracy from the January 6th Committee and continuing death threats to public figures have left people dizzied and anxious. Some have told me that they feel the very foundations of our nation are now dangerously, and perhaps irreversibly, undermined.
As I wrote earlier this month, it is important to be part of the solution. That’s why I want to thank a number of people who have written me with recommendations about great charitable causes and the people who lead them. I am eager to follow up on their suggestions and will do so over the summer.
I am also taking six weeks off from writing and speaking, beyond my current commitments, to let my mind rest and to take stock.
My hope for all of you is to find a way to disconnect from your electronics and let your mind find some quiet if you can. Long walks in nature can be a salve. Listening to great music, a joy. Anything that promotes a sense of perspective is helpful during stressful times—on many levels. The capacity to put things into a larger context is one of the most critical attributes shared by great leaders and people who find personal equilibrium and peace.
I will be with you again in September. In the meantime, I am sending you my thoughts and best wishes for a summer of reflection.