Trash Your Agenda. Be An Ally. Focus On What Matters Now.

Natalie Ruiz
4 min readMay 31, 2020

Trying to go about life at home or at work in the midst of a global pandemic and civic unrest is not only ridiculous; it is also insensitive.

Many of us are grappling with cognitive dissonance in our daily lives.

How do we do all the things we are supposed to do while balancing the weight of a global pandemic, civil unrest, and uncertainty about the future?

Am I unfocused? Or, am I trying to focus on the wrong things? This was the question I asked myself at work yesterday.

I was in a meeting when a news alert popped up with an update from Minneapolis. I paused the meeting to read aloud what was happening. We spent the rest of the meeting discussing what to do from a leadership standpoint to ensure we were supporting all of our team members who may be struggling.

We didn’t get to any of the items that were on the original agenda. They all seemed unimportant by comparison to connecting with our teams and making sure that our people were supported.

“We are all in this together, yet we all walk a different path.”

The idea of moving about the day as though entire cities were not on fire seemed ridiculous to me. Instead of going about my day as scheduled, I individually messaged as many of my 1,300 team members I could, starting with this sentence: “I wanted to reach out about something that is on my mind: We have work to do, and what’s happening in the world may be making that harder than usual…” Additionally, I said, “We are all in this together, yet we all walk a different path.” By the way, this isn’t about me patting myself on the back — I don’t feel I had the right words for everyone — but I did feel like saying nothing and going about ‘business as usual’ was the worst thing I could do.

The pain, the hurt, the anger and the fear that I know people are feeling hasn’t left my mind, and my heart is breaking for all of us right now.



Natalie Ruiz

Tech CEO. Mom. Non-Profit Board Member. Working to normalize belonging at work. Living in gratitude. Trying to leave people and places better than I find them.