A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Cheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant

November 10, 2017
Cheryl Sandburg has always been one of my heroes, one of the few women I admire and want to follow and copy. In her latest book, “Option 2,”  she shares with us her devastating encounter of losing her husband of eleven years, Dave Goldberg, while on a vacation. She details how it felt to be left alone, a widow with two young children, and how she managed to overcome the loss and found strength in the face of adversity.

It is true that we as a society, like the ancient romans, are always in search of super heroes and gods to worship. Maybe that’s why we created the celebrity culture in the first place — to replace all those roman gods with our own new gods to worship.

Cheryl Sandburg is one of the smartest and most powerful women in the world. She clearly is in the league of all the other fictional female superhero characters. Superheroes are here to be worshipped but not to feel sorry for. Therefore, a license to grieve is not permitted to be issued to her. Ultimately, it is her power, as chief operating officer of Facebook, and her wealth which revoke her license to show us her softer side. It may even be best if she could be left alone watching the dramatic play of her life, a Greek tragedy, from the luxury, deluxe first row of her own universe’s theater.

The book contains pages and pages of every detail as to how broken she was when dealing with the death of her husband, at work and in her personal life, and that is, of course, in spite of having the advantage of wealth and a vast net worth of support of family and influential friends. Reading through the book, you experience the story of her journey into becoming resilient. Resilient? Oh, wait a minute! In my mind, I imagined her already to be resilient!

Please understand. I don’t have any problem hearing this kind of vulnerability coming form my next door neighbor, Nancy, who lost her husband to cancer suddenly last summer. I was a witness to how she was truly disoriented and devastated. I was a witness to how, at times, she would not be able to make ends meet on one salary. I was a witness of the hard times she went through, taking care of her three small children all on her own, with no relatives and no support around.  If she would ever write a book about what she endured after losing her husband and how she managed to survive it all in spite of all the hardship she encountered, that indeed would be a completely different kind of a book. That would even be a sort of manual to read from which to get advice and guidance.

The actual fact is when it comes to Cheryl Sandburg, I want her to play the real Cheryl Sandburg. I want her to play herself in the play of her life and teach us women everything she knows on how to get out of the house in the morning, step into the world, and kick some ass, in spite of the fact that she is in the middle of dealing with the most tragic incident of her life. I don’t want to see her tears; instead, I want her to take the road less traveled and show us women how to be tough cookies.

We, as a society, do not give permission to the privileged to cry in their limousine and tell us how miserable they are. We want the crying left to the misfortunate and broken-hearted. We expect the billionaires to possess all sorts of superpowers to overcome their broken hearts by any means they can, even as to buy themselves a brand new heart once their old and used up heart is broken.

The book is co-authored by Adam Grant, a psychology professor at Wharton University. It contains a lot of valuable research, useful data, and positive motivational talks. In my opinion, we as a society are on the verge of being completely over saturated and on the verge of exploding, bursting by this avalanche of positive inputs coming into the computer of our brain from every direction on a daily basis.

“Option B” by Cheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant is already a New York Times best seller.  Go get it and let me know your take on it.

About the Author

Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, overseeing the firm’s business operations. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton, a management consultant with Mckinsey & Company, and an economist with the World Bank.
Sheryl received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School.Sheryl is the co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant. She is also the author of the bestsellers Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates. She is the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. Sheryl serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey

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