Daily Stuntz 11/16 — Cyrus Habib: A different type of political story

I was sent a different type of political story recently and wanted to highlight it as it has stuck with me. From going blind at 8 to Columbia University, a Rhodes Scholarship, and most recently Lt Governor of Washington at 35, Mr. Habib was a rising star and one of the more impressive people I have ever read about. But he did not run for re-election and is instead leaving to become a priest. The story is here https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/11/opinion/sunday/cyrus-habib-jesuit.html and there are updates available (he is now on unpaid leave from the office starting his training).

This is not a post advocating for any particular religion or faith, but a number of things came up that I wanted to think through.

I am saddened that someone like Mr. Habib did not see a path in politics to do the type of good he wanted to do as he seemed to be in it for the right reasons and is incredibly inspirational. Our political system certainly seems in trouble (I am tired of “the system is broken” language with no legitimate ideas to address/fix it so not going to repeat it) and if people that are in it for the right reasons dont see a way forward, we are in bad shape.

It is impressive that Mr. Habib did the work to consider what he really wanted and what motivated him. That level of self-awareness is something that would help everyone including myself.

While not directly related, I really like the quote from his parents — “If you worry too much about a child, you become an obstacle. We decided not to make our fears his.” As I think about raising kids in the current time, I have fears about all sorts of stuff and this was an excellent reminder to make sure I am dealing with them in the right way.

Finally the story at the end of the article is something I will consider for a long time. It is pasted below, and I would love to know what is means to you.

“Late last summer he trekked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, another of those accomplishments he loved to rack up. On the final stretch, he became ill and had to pause every 10 steps.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘If I don’t summit, people will never believe that it was because of the bronchitis or altitude sickness — they’ll think it’s because I’m blind,’” he said. “I never told that story publicly, because it shows my vanity — that the only thing I feared more than death was public humiliation.”

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Trying to figure things out working at the intersection of cybersecurity, business, and government

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Joe Stuntz

Trying to figure things out working at the intersection of cybersecurity, business, and government