This summer I had the great opportunity to attend the Ruck Leadership Institute. Only a few weeks after, I was forced to use much of the leadership strategy I studied during the program in a more unexpected and challenging way than I ever could have imagined.
Only a few days after Ruck, I departed for a study abroad entrepreneurship program in Nice, France, so as to see Europe for the first time and gain a professional and cultural experience alongside 400 students from around the world. Unfortunately, the world had other plans for me, and I was right there on the Promenade the night of the Bastille Day attack. My main challenge — though I would now call it my main success — was persevering through the days and weeks following this event, and staying strong and thoughtful despite the loss of three of my peers and our world being turned on its head. Although some students elected to fly home, I chose to finish the program and continue with my plans to travel for two weeks afterwards. Indeed, the following weeks were some of the most enriching of my life, and I had an amazing time seeing six additional countries. It is safe to say that I returned home with a much greater view of the world: I try my best to live every day to the fullest, appreciate everything and everyone, and never forget the power I have (as we all do) to impact the lives of countless people every day.
The Bastille Day events brought a lot of pain into this world, but they also provided the inspiration for us all to adopt a more caring, grateful and empathetic mindset. As SigEps, it is our responsibility to display leadership in the face of tragedy, to unite, and to protect one another — to protect all of humanity — from suffering. Is this not the meaning of brotherly love?