• Ash Faraj: Founder & Host

I Was Wrong Last Week.

Last week, I published a blog "How Depression Can Be Good."

I am an optimist, but sometimes optimism can blind you from reality.

One of my colleagues at ExecuTalks, Andrea van Ryzin, sent me a text message: "Hey Ash I'd like to challenge your article on depression... Particularly saying that if you are depressed you should consider yourself lucky..."

Initially, I felt extremely embarrassed that I would make that kind of statement. After I read it back to myself I realized how ignorant that sounded. My intent was to uplift people who are feeling depressed, and in a way I was talking to myself. As I was writing the article, I was trying to convince myself in some way that maybe it's good that I feel as if a part of my soul was torn off. Depression encompasses a wide spectrum, and I admit, I let my personal experience and emotions blur my thinking. I admit, I was wrong for saying that "if you are feeling depressed you are lucky."

I should've said: If you are feeling depressed, you are not alone, and it is a common human condition that might have an evolutionary benefit.

The truth is, there are people who are clinically depressed due to a chemical imbalance, or people who've lost a loved one at a young age, or people who have gone through extremely tragic times, and it wouldn't be fair to say that those people are lucky.

I feel very proud that Andrea had the courage to speak up and challenge my article. I have tremendous respect for people who are courageous not only because it empowers others to be courageous, but also because it's when we learn the most.

Think about it: I would have never known that I was wrong in saying what I said, if it weren't for Andrea challenging me and sharing her perspective. After all, we all have different personal experiences. In a way, we can all learn and grow from each other, no matter where we are in our careers and in our lives.

Thank you Andrea, for teaching me a valuable lesson and for setting a wonderful example of courage.

Stay courageous my friends,


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