June 5, 2021

Dear Elephant Staff. ~ Waylon H. Lewis

Elephant’s turning 19 in 2 weeks.

Summer. It’s getting hot. Celebrate rain. Celebrate shorts. Celebrate bare feet. Celebrate community, safely—gaddamn, it’s been awhile. Go to Farmers’ Market. Be greedy—go to the biergarten, the yoga in the park and limber up that tight neck/back/hips/heart; go to an outdoor movie. I missed people, open mouths, catching up with half-strangers, popping in for a vegan muffin, meeting new people.

It’s getting hotter. Remember to hydrate. Get your dog in the creek. Work hard, with love and love is care, but get yourself a break, too. Enjoy Nature. Go for a bike ride, or kayak, or hike, or swim, or hot springs–get it, give it back 10fold. Offset your travel. Skip airbnb, it deadens communities and feeds absentee landlords, unless the owner lives on the property, in which case you might be helping pay someone’s mortgage. Patronize local bnbs and hotels. Avoid Amazon, and Whole Foods. But I repeat myself.

Be amazing, and tell us how amazing, so we can get you raises. Help Elephant get through the bottleneck between Facebook millions of readers and Ecosystem millions of readers. Be of benefit. Reach out to a colleague, particularly if they’re new or it’s been awhile. Have that tough conversation, straight up, and see through the rancor. Lean in past speediness into growth. Raise your game beyond the status quo you’ve become accustomed to, but aren’t satisfied about. Help one another be excellent. It’s on us.

If you’ve texted them 10x, for every reply, stop texting. Call your mom. She loves it. You love it. Breathe deep when she’s being frustrating about silly things—we’re all frustrating about silly things. Never use plastic single-use, get uptight about that, but in a friendly way (it’s about friendliness to our planet). Consider not eating baby animals. Meditate, without it being spiritual, get present, that’ll help everything–relationships, work, play, heart, mind, history, future. Drive less.

If you got this far, mwuah–let’s make it a great 19th year. If you didn’t get this far, I don’t blame you.

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