Sandberg To Berkeley Grads: Stay Resilient

By Jessica Roy
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Beautiful excerpts from Sheryl Sandberg’s speech to the graduating class at Berkeley. Less than a year ago, Sandberg’s husband died suddenly of cardiac arrhythmia. Sandberg says she has fought through the pain by becoming more resilient. She says she has been able to do that by focusing on three P’s Personalization (knowing that not everything happens because of us), Pervasiveness (the belief that an event will affect all areas of your life) and Permanence (the belief that the sorrow will last forever). Sheryl Sandberg, a human being of great strength empowering women to survive the tragedies of life.

Los Angeles Times

Sheryl Sandberg made an emotional appeal for resilience and gratitude in her commencement speech to the University of California, Berkeley’s Class of 2016, in which she spoke about her husband’s death publicly for the first time.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer at Facebook and the author of “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” A little more than a year ago, Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly of cardiac arrhythmia while they were on vacation in Mexico.

She said her own resilience after his death came from the “three Ps,” as identified by psychologist Martin Seligman: personalization, pervasiveness and permanence.

Personalization, she said, “is the lesson that not everything that happens to us happens because of us.” After her husband died, she blamed herself and personally reviewed his medical records to see what critical symptom she had failed to notice.

“It wasn’t until I learned about the three Ps that I accepted that I could not have prevented his death,” she said. “His doctors had not identified his coronary artery disease. I was an economics major; how could I have?”

Pervasiveness is “the belief that an event will affect all areas of your life.” At the advice of a child psychologist, she and her two children returned to their normal lives 10 days after Goldberg’s death. She said she felt as if there was no way to escape the “all-consuming sadness” of her loss.

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