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In the pause: Comey, Hamlet, and our individual tomorrows

“We know what we are, but not what we may become.” ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

As I watched the James Comey hearing yesterday, I kept thinking about this quote from Hamlet. Mr. Comey’s testimony showed that he always does what he thinks is the right thing to do given the information he has. He’s a man who sticks to his principles even when he knows he will pay a personal price for following them. He stands for something and therefore falls for nothing. He cares much more about the truth and the law than he does about politics and power. And in Washington, sadly, that is a difficult thing to do. He’s paid the price personally and professionally, and still stands by his decisions. That’s something to be admired, even though I don’t agree with his choices.

Nearly 7 months to the day, Comey transformed from being the person who single-handedly altered the outcome of the Presidential election to someone who may render the Trump presidency one of the shortest in history. It’s unclear if any of that will come to pass, but it made me think about our sense of identity, purpose, and perception.

What we do and who we are right now doesn’t predict who we’ll become or what we’ll be doing tomorrow. One minute, Mr. Comey was the Director of the FBI and arguably one of the most powerful people in the world. With the stroke of a pen, he was returned to private life and sat before a Senate committee to tell the world he didn’t trust the President’s intent and questioned his sense of judgement. All within 7 months. That’s a remarkable about-face to make in his career and in his life.

What I keep coming back to is his conviction and his refusal to do anything less than protect his country in the best way he could. If that meant being fired, then so be it. If that meant enduring endless scrutiny by the public, politicians, and the press, then bring it on. It takes courage to live today so authentically that it may drastically alter our tomorrow. Mr. Comey showed us it can, and must, be done.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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