Inspiring an environment of togetherness and liberal thinking

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – Michelle Obama

This is one of my favorite quotes by a woman that I greatly admire and today I feel like this quote can be well and truly attached to another person that I greatly admire.

Unlike Michelle Obama though, this other person is someone who has made a difference to me on a personal level, and someone I had grown used to seeing everyday in office.

This person is Shane, our regional office head and someone who has truly brought people together with the strong feeling of comaradrie he has instilled in each of us. The camaraderie will last of course but the heavy hearted tone comes from the fact that Shane won’t be part of the office tomorrow onwards.

On his last day today, I thought it was only fit to thank him for being the person he is and affecting so many lives by just being himself.

It’s not uncommon to find great mentors who guide people in their career journeys and help them evolve as professionals. Shane did all that for sure but that’s not what makes him special, in my opinion. What is indeed rare is to find people who will do all of the above and will also be the closest confidant to almost everyone in office for personal advice too.

From telling us to think of the big picture for our clients to adorably sharing with us tips on how to manage household issues to introducing us to the absolutely charming Buffy, Shane really was the heart and soul of our office.

At times, we would shiver because we’d have goofed up and a typical Shane style belting was on the cards. He’d do that duly, but would also defend us ardently when we weren’t at fault.

And after a nice sounding, if we thought we’d stay away from him that day because he was in a bad mood, we’d see him grinning like a child in the pantry just seconds later with a mug of espresso and cream and laughing about a silly joke.

We knew he was tough but we also knew he was and always will be the most empathetic and thoughtful person around. If a person betrayed the slightest sign of being low, he’d be the first to notice and walk up to them and say, “You wanna talk?” He never had to do that but he always did because that’s just who Shane is.

Personally, I have learnt the profession from him and have also learnt how to acknowledge my strengths and embrace my weaknesses. More than anything else, he has taught not only me but so many of us to be tolerant and sensitive towards other people’s choices. It’s a quality that I think we need above all others, that of accepting different kinds of people with different personalities, and it is a quality that I absolutely love about this remarkable man.

I realize this post contains a lot of superlatives but believe me you, it is not possible to effectively describe the impact Shane has had on us without the use of all of these superlatives.

Certain people have such a huge impact on the lives of people around that their absence is always deeply felt. And I will miss Shane and his booming voice in office terribly.

But like Michelle Obama says in the quote above, there are greater things that are yet to be achieved and sacrifices to be made for greater causes. I just hope that while Shane will go about achieving these great things, this bond of friendship will still run strong. My guess is it will and five years down the line, we’ll still be on the same terms as we are now.

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