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LENS ON LEADING: NOTES FROM ANTONY

Late to the Party, But on Time for Love

A few months ago I started watching the television show “Glee.” I know, I’m late to the party like I am to so many parties. The series ended several years ago. What can I say? I’m too busy watching Manchester United, I suppose. And living with two daughters, I don’t always have control over the remote.

The show is about high schoolers who join the glee club. They are all incredibly talented. Incredibly. It makes me wish I were at least a little bit talented.

It was a strange confluence for me to be wrapped up in watching the show and then read that one of the actors had died from a drug overdose, probably a suicide. On the screen I’m watching a vibrant life, but at the same time I know that this light is gone from us.

As I watched some episodes of “Glee,” I playfully wondered if I could go back and make different choices in my younger years, could I have made it big with my vocal and rhythm talents? (I assure you the answer is no.) But could I have made different choices about what I said to people at key points, or even in ordinary moments, that might have made a difference in their lives?

Or perhaps I might have uncovered a different talent altogether. I spent some time with an Emergency Department pediatrician, which was just astonishing. I shadowed him for an understanding of how mental health issues present among young people in the Emergency Department. He was a teaching resident, but mainly he was making people feel better by being kind. The example that sticks most strongly in my mind was what he said to parents who were weighed down with worry about their baby.

“You’re really good parents.”

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