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Director's Corner - November 2020

Certainty amid uncertainty. No, I do not have any insider information regarding the outcome of today’s election. Nor do I have a remedy for the overarching anxiety state in which we live. The magic words have yet to be written. Yet, I try to hold on, however, to lessons my father shared with me when I was a boy. He broke things down into the things we control in life, and those we do not. He would ask me where I would put my energy – into the things I could control or the things I couldn’t? When a survivor asks about their prospects for winning asylum, and I can only promise my effort; not the end result. It is a hard and ongoing learning curve. What are the things we can “control” amid the turbulence? They seem few and far between. How do we find certainty when everything is in dynamic flux? Desperate for some kind of touchstone, I focus on things I control – things that no tempests can shake. Let me start with gratitude. The ongoing love and support you show for our program is astounding. You continue to build a true community when it is most needed. You made last week’s virtual benefit a huge success. And we appreciate each and every one of you. Gratitude is a certainty in life. Commitment Another family adage is “In the effort lies the art.” It is about pushing forward when it is most bleak. Responding to adversity with beauty. Engaging in the subversive act of healing. Leading with love. “One cannot love the orchid, without first loving the monsoon,” as our friend Hala Alyan put it. We are living in the monsoon. Yet we envision the coming blooms, and realize that it is worth it. Commitment is a certainty in life. Compassion Seeking a shared humanity. “L’esprit de partage.” A shared and sharing spirit. Realizing that we spend so much time in our social discourse talking about “them,” we forget that we’re talking about “us.” An opened door. A shared smile. Knowing that there is great power in small gestures and meaningful acts. Remembering that shared burdens are diminished, while shared joys are multiplied. Compassion is a certainty in life.  Connection It’s been said that “Two watchdogs are ten times better than one.” The power of connection and community defies calculation. The empowerment that comes from people realizing they are “needed, and not just needy” is immense. This elemental force is synonymous with family, friendship, love, and community. It is a healing power. Connection is a certainty in life. I have no idea whether these principles will be enough in the face of everything we are facing. They may not be sufficient – but I know they’re important, and I know that they’re necessary. At the very minimum, they form a scaffolding of certainty, elements to hold onto while cruel winds swirl. I know that as a program, we will continue to put forth maximum effort. We will persist and remain committed in our struggle to help heal and protect some of the most vulnerable among us. We will do it from a sense of shared humanity, and we look forward to facing these challenges with you. Again, thank you for all of your support. If you missed the benefit last week, but would like to see it, follow the link below. You’ll see what a wonderful and spirit-filled evening it was. We so appreciate you. We know that you are there for us, and we are definitely here for you. Consider us your fellow watchdog.  One love, Hawk


PSOT 2020 Annual Benefit

A Virtual, Online Celebration

If you didn't get a chance to tune into our 2020 Annual Benefit last night, watch the full event here! Help us reach our $150,000 fundraising goal. With your generous support, survivors of torture can rebuild their lives.

To Give by Mail, send your check to: The Survivor Fund 462 First Avenue, CD733 New York, NY 10016 To Give by Phone call 1.212.562.8753 The Survivor Fund is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (Tax ID number 13-4062818).

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