Friedman & Simon - November 2019

LEGAL BRIEF

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NOVEMBER 2019

Love Made Visible What I’m Thankful For

Thanksgiving invites reflection. In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to share some of the parts of my life I’m thankful for. WIthout doubt, profound gratitude for my health and my loved ones comes immediately to mind. Knowing that this newsletter is shared mostly with people whom I have come to know because of my legal career, I want to focus on another gift I have been so very fortunate to receive. Work. This isn’t me simply saying I love my job. More accurately, I feel a deep and enduring gratitude for the way my work connects me to people and to myself. I believe that work, no matter the occupation, is an opportunity for each of us to be of service to others and, in so doing, improve the world. Setting aside considerations of having to work to keep food on the table, one can easily feel lost without it. Work can be a reason to get up in the morning, and offers us the gift of coming home tired but fulfilled in the evening. It challenges me to grow in ways I may never have imagined. Most importantly, work empowers us to help each other.

can win them a shot at rebuilding their lives. I won’t sugar coat it; it can be scary. Having someone’s future in your hands, knowing you have one shot to make it brighter, is a weighty responsibility but also an honor. I am privileged to wake up every day knowing I can make a difference. That’s not to say being a lawyer is uniquely special, or you need a job like it to feel fulfilled. On the contrary, plenty of people with law and medical degrees certainly wish they were doing something else. But having represented people from all walks of life, I can say that many find purpose, meaning, and joy in the work they do. Which is one important reason why it’s so heartbreaking when an injury prevents someone from returning to work. I’ve had to console men and women who’d been the breadwinners of their family but found themselves bedridden and wanted nothing more than to return to work. Those have been some of the most difficult conversations in my life. I’ve learned that no matter how much a person wins in damages, money can’t make up for losing such an important part of their identity. Calculating past and future lost earnings can be a relatively simple arithmetic computation,

But damages can be a bridge. Reframing your life post-injury will always be difficult, but having that money buys you time to move forward. Maybe you can’t return to doing what you used to, and maybe you have to learn entirely new skills, but you can also discover new joys along the way. So, this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my work, for the work of so many people I’ve represented over the years, and for the many ways I’ve benefited from the work of others. More than a paycheck or a way to spend your days, a job is an opportunity to bring good into the world. As the poet Kahil Gibran so eloquently put it, “Work is love made visible.”

Work, for me, means helping

I feel a deep and enduring gratitude for the way my work connects me to people and to myself.”

people through one of the most difficult challenges in their lives. People come to us hobbled, sometimes literally, hoping our firm

but there is no way to quantify a loss of the ability to work beyond the financial aspect. Losing this vehicle for fulfillment can be crushing.

––––-Ed Friedman

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