CBA Record Jan-Feb 2021

PRESIDENT’S PAGE BY MARYAM AHMAD Read Your Book of Perspective

The Chicago Bar Association


President Maryam Ahmad

lenges. I believe when difficult situations arise, we should do our best to weather the storm. After the storm subsides, we should catalog these experiences in our “Book of Perspective.” Each of us has authored such a work. It is a compilation of every difficult experience of our lives. Instead of disregarding these experiences, we should take time to periodically review them, particularly, during challenging times. It is our individual Book of Perspective that holds the key to endurance and ultimately perseverance. My worst year ever came in 1979. I was fourteen years old. During a fire alarm in ninth grade, I fell backwards and landed hard on a concrete step. I immediately jumped up, because being young, falling clumsily in front of your classmates is embarrassing. I pretended as though I was not injured, but my back and hips hurt tremendously. When I went home after school that day, I did not tell anyone I had been injured. My mother was very sick, with a terrible cough. I did not have the heart to share what had happened, because my mother was extremely ill. Within a day after falling, my mother was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. While my mother was in the ICU, I was determined to persevere despite my pain. Before going to school every morning, I would soak in extremely hot water; doing this enabled me to walk without limping. However, the back and hip pain would return by mid- day, and by the end of the school day, my two best friends would help me walk to the bus stop—one of my arms draped around each of their shoulders. I remember my friends imploring me to tell my father. I refused. By the third week, my mother was home from the

First Vice President E. Lynn Grayson

Second Vice President Timothy S. Tomasik

Secretary Ray J. Koenig III

Treasurer John C. Sciaccotta

Executive Director Elizabeth A. McMeen

M y friends tease me for being an eternal optimist: “utopian,” “dreamer,” “romantic,” and the worst, “Pollyanna-ish.” I have been called them all. Maybe I’m just wired this way. I know many who see life as the glass half empty. I am a glass-half-full woman. If you need on-the-bright-side perspective to any situation, truly, I am the person to call. It comes naturally. As the year 2020 drew to a close—a year of isolation, quarantine, and virtual work—like you, I engaged in much life reflection. For many of you, 2020 will for- ever be remembered as the worst year ever. For me, it was a year filled with unique challenges and unexpected opportunities (See what I did there?). When many of us are experiencing difficult circumstances, they can be so overwhelming and isolating that it is easy to believe that problems befall only you. Yet, we all struggle. Sometimes, when sunshine surrounds you, storms rage in someone else’s life. At the risk of sound- ing Pollyanna-ish, the eternal optimist in me would like to provide some insight on negative experiences and trying life chal-

Immediate Past President Jesse H. Ruiz BOARD OF MANAGERS Jonathan B. Amarilio Hon. Charles S. Beach II Alexis Crawford Douglas Charles P. Golbert Kathryn C. Liss Michael R. Lufrano Hon. Clare Elizabeth McWilliams

Juan Morado, Jr. Lauren S. Novak Hon. Nichole C. Patton Brandon Peck Ashley Rafael Trisha Rich Antonio M. Romanucci Ajay N. Shah

Hon. Maria Valdez Adam M. Zebelian

6 January/February 2021

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