Sunday Letter #17

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is a bittersweet day for me. My dad passed away four years ago from Pancreatic Cancer. He was too young. But Father’s Day is also a reminder of the times we spent together, especially in his final year. It’s also a chance to recognize other remarkable father figures. Wherever you are today, consider connecting with those people in your life and tell them how much you appreciate their presence in your life.

As for Experience Lab, this past week was a special one. We graduated our second cohort of Experience Lab Fellows, who have all shown a tremendous amount of courage and resilience during this unprecedented time in history. But it’s not goodbye. We stay in our student’s corners as they meet with our community of companies and prepare for their next steps.

We’re also connecting with hundreds of students who started their application for our Fall Cohort. It’s been such a joy watching this next class come together. We can’t wait to introduce you to the next class of Fellows!

For now, here are a few pieces we think are worth a read.

Keep going,
Victor, Stella, and the Experience Lab team

On Juneteenth

On Friday, the African American community celebrated Juneteenth, which marks the emancipation of the last slaves in America in 1865. With the backdrop of recent nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, this year’s Juneteenth was especially significant. In this special feature, Veronica Chambers highlights the various ways in which freedom is celebrated: in writing, in photography, in education, and in self care. She writes, “As someone who has celebrated Juneteenth for a long time, I think we need it now — not in lieu of the freedom, justice and equality we are still fighting for — but in addition, because we have been fighting for so very long.” As a non-black person, I have to admit that I still have so much to learn about the historical complexities of slavery and its lasting ramifications. I am working to educate myself and those in my community. I found this to be an impactful read, I hope you do as well. New York Times.

On How to Ask Better Questions

Now more than ever, interpersonal relationships and communication serve to boost our mental health and wellbeing. The key to better communication begins with asking meaningful questions. Many of us ask others “how are you?” without really stopping and taking the time to listen. This might be a sign that we are not asking the right questions. In this piece, Elizabeth Weingarten highlights the power of questions in our daily conversations, “They are interpersonal relationship magnets, compelling us to reveal personal information that builds mutual trust. They can make us more likable, seem more competent, and even increase our ability to empathize.” Whether in a conversation with your best friend, parent, sibling, or colleague, the questions we ask will elicit a variety of responses, from cursory ones to more meaningful, thought-out responses that shed light on the other person’s state of wellbeing and way of thinking. Give this a read, and think about how you can start to ask questions that will enhance mutual understanding in your daily conversations. Quartz.

On The Joys and Pains of Being Together

Many of you have spent the past months sheltering in place with your family, many of you have found it to be challenging. In this heartwarming piece, readers share their joys and frustrations of being quarantined with their loved ones, from spouses, lovers, grandparents, siblings, children, and roommates. Many have discovered newfound connections with the people in their immediate lives. The pandemic has forced all of us to slow down, rethink our priorities, and value our relationships with the people in our lives. Give this a read and you might just find an experience relevant to your own. New York Times.