Where I Am At

Where I Am At

Black Lives Matter. Kinetix believes that diversity in the workplace and the world enrich our communities and bring to light the perspectives of others. It is imperative that we eradicate systemic racism that has plagued our country and end the senseless deaths of Black people at the hands of the undertrained and ill-equipped.

As I reflect on the events of the last few weeks, they have left me enraged, anxious, hurting and confused. As a white woman, there is so much I don‚Äôt know and experiences I know that I can‚Äôt understand firsthand. Through all this, I have been thinking about the hate and divisive media, designed to move us apart rather than bring us together on the obvious changes that are needed. 

As a business leader I have felt the immense pain of those who work at my company, as a mother the unspeakable harm being done to Black Americans  and to our communities right now.

Many years ago, after I founded Kinetix, we began to give holiday gifts to our clients and friend as a way to thank them.  So my decision was to provide a book each year that challenged and inspired us, as a team, to be better and do better. Out of this mantra, I also received a book in exchange one of those early years from a business colleague. It‚Äôs called The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters 

As I have been dealing with my own feelings of helplessness, resulting anger and stress over so many of the recent events, I know that although I feel like there are so many things I cannot do and that I am just one person, it does not mean that I am left to do nothing.  The book showed me that a single act can ripple and help drive so many positive things.  So, that is my hope here, my butterfly effect. 

One item I feel is missing is that while I admit there may be plenty to divide us as a nation, there is so, so much more that can bring us together. I came across a social media post that did this – simply ask yourself a couple of questions, and you’ll quickly determine that all of us have much more in common that we realize. Differences melt away quickly when you realize how alike we are.

So here goes: My list of things that I have in common with so many of my neighbors, near and far. My goal is to share this list so others can find their own common ground and give us a foundation to work through the rest of our challenges focused on what we can do together instead of apart.

  • I like to smile
  • I am a work in progress
  • I am a human (thanks @jackiartis for the inspiration here)
  • I was born in Atlanta
  • I have lived & live in Florida
  • I am a Cancer survivor (almost 5 years!)
  • I grew up in a very small town (as in, I didn‚Äôt have a key to my house small)
  • I ran track in HS and College
  • I tried to play soccer
  • I was in chorus
  • I went to college in Ohio
  • I have lived outside the US
  • I have 3 children
  • Both my parents were in the military (Air Force)
  • I have experienced addiction & mental illness in my family & life
  • I have lost a sibling
  • Horror films stress me out
  • I have been a caregiver
  • My children make me so proud
  • I am a business owner
  • I have NOT been picked for a job
  • I worked at a marina
  • I am a business partner
  • I like jigsaw puzzles
  • I like scrap booking
  • I got married in a very small wedding
  • I am incredibly impatient
  • I believe in God
  • I have a great business partner
  • I am an American
  • I like to run/hike
  • I am a woman
  • I was raised in Connecticut
  • I live in Atlanta
  • I have broken a bone
  • I am one of 5 kids
  • I played Field Hockey
  • I was in the marching band
  • I was in Drama
  • I have lived in NYC
  • I am a mother
  • I am married
  • My husband went thru OCS (Semper Fi)
  • I have lost my mother
  • I love music
  • I am not a great singer but love to sing in the car
  • I have dealt with the ravages of Alzheimer‚Äôs & Dementia
  • I am a CEO
  • I have quit a job (without another job)
  • I have had a dog (and am a ‚Äúdog person‚Äù)
  • I have had a horse
  • I have had 10 gerbils as pets
  • I have had a cat (even though I am allergic)
  • My kids seem to be ok spending time with me (more than they ever wanted currently)
  • 2020 has been an incredibly stressful year so far
  • I have a step-mother
  • I have faith we will make it thru this
  • Like you, my favorite work things to read are the HR Capitalist and The 9 Faces of HR. üòâ

I am sure there are so many that I am forgetting, but my bet is among this small list are inflections from which to build relationships and understanding ‚Äì starting from a simple common ground.  Some other great work from Heineken on the same idea (thanks @msilagy for the share):


Celebrating common ground alone won’t get us to where we need to go, so my focus, and that of everyone at Kinetix, will be to listen, seek to understand and take action to support our country as we move to a better place.

Sending virtual Hugs,

Shannon Russo


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