Book Launch Week Gratitude and Loss

Book Launch Week Gratitude and Loss THANK YOU! I am filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support for my new book The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together.   I am unable to thank everybody individually but please know that I appreciate every single email, text, Facebook post, tweet and blog post. You are part of an important movement recognizing that introverts and extroverts all have so much to contribute…especially if we deal with our differences and work towards results.

There have been many moments of joy this week (and it only Wed.!) One highlight was last night. After getting my hair and make-up done, I made my way to an Atlanta studio where I sat with Jim the producer in a quiet room, hooked in my ear piece and spoke to the camera lens. Co-hosts Kylie and Larry of the The Morning Show , a world and day away in Sydney, AU asked me about the advantage of being an introvert. It is so gratifying to know that introverts and extroverts are now on the world stage.

In the juxtaposition of life events, sad news came as I walked into a small book launch celebration with my girlfriends on Sunday night. Friend and fellow  Berrett-Koehler author Jamie Showkeir who bravely lived with ALS had passed away. The uncanny twist was that August 16th was Jamie’s birthday and the same date he met his loving wife, Maren Showkeir   Though you may not have known Jamie personally, many of you generously contributed to the campaign to Keep Jamie At Home . Thank you SO much for your kindness.  It allowed him to spend the last year at home and I know both Jamie and Maren were beyond grateful.

As the tributes come in for Jamie it is apparent that he touched so many people and made such a difference.  Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, managing editor at Berrett-Koehler and a friend of Jamie’s wrote this beautiful tribute to our friend on Facebook.  It moved me and I would like to share it with you here.

“My friend and author Jamie Showkeir passed away yesterday on his birthday.

Jamie was much-loved by a large community and I have read countless heartfelt pieces attesting to his heart, his generosity, his spirit.

Those are all wonderful, but they say nothing more than what could be said about the thousands of people who die every day. They are the things we say and are supposed to say about the departed. We are all ennobled by death.

But to me, Jamie was exceptional not for these big qualities but because of one simple, little trait: he listened. Yes, it is a simple, little thing but that doesn’t mean it’s commonplace. Everyone talks, and some people hear, but very few actually listen. Jamie listened, but more importantly, he didn’t listen on his own terms, he listened on mine. The best listeners will still interpret and process everything through their own lens. Jamie didn’t do this. He listened to me, but he also listened as me. I could try and explain this if you don’t understand what I mean, but if you knew Jamie, I think you know just what I mean. A truly authentic soul is one that can grasp the authenticity of another and inhabit it to help strengthen it. The number of people I’ve met in my life capable of this I could count on the fingers of one hand.

And a single finger is one simple, little thing, but God what a difference when you lose it.”

2 thoughts on “Book Launch Week Gratitude and Loss

  1. Jesse Stoner

    Congrats on the launch of your wonderful book, Jennifer, an extraordinary guide for how to we can use our differences for positive results instead of letting them separate us. You are making a difference in the world. Life is rich and complex. It is bittersweet to celebrate the birth of a book and mourn the death of a dear friend at the same time. You are doing it with grace.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Kahnweiler

      Jesse – Thank you for your beautiful comments. We are so fortunate to be part of a loving community that is committed to making a difference and caring for each other in actions and in words.

      Reply

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