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A Valentine's Day Message

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Most of our government programs, and indeed our core internal values, revolve around compassion for others as we lead them to live healthier, vibrant lives.  On this Valentine’s Day, and every day, we urge you to take the time to tell your family, friends and colleagues that you care about them.  Expressions of caring, compassion, and empathy inspire similar positive feelings in others. Even a quick e-mail, call, or post-it note, can do a lot for the recipient.

You'll be doing yourself a favor, too, because love is good for your brain!  We have done advanced neurological research for the US Army, and brain mapping shows us that caring relationships and expressions directly enhance mental functioning and resiliency.  Monks who regularly practice compassion meditation have a different rhythm of brain alpha waves than average. Mindfulness and compassion meditations increase activity in brain centers connected with empathy and positive emotions, decrease activation of our fear centers, and enhance general brain function.

Research also shows that love is not a fixed quantity. Loving one person, even a lot, does not mean you have less to give to others. In fact, the opposite is true: love is a capacity you can build within yourself through mental concentration, emotional engagement, and caring actions. When we focus on and savor our loving feelings for one person, the internal feelings of satisfaction and connection we experience can motivate us to be more loving in general. 

So I want to take this moment to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day.  Thank you for the hard work, the compassion, and, yes, the love, you bring to our clients and to our AFSC/Magellan family.

Geoff Deutsch
President & CEO

A Martin Luther King Jr., Day Message

This Monday, we will celebrate the newest of our Federal holidays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Dr. King was a uniquely effective champion of equality, and his non-violent, thoughtful messages remain just as powerful and uplifting today as during his life, which was tragically cut short in 1968.

Although there is always more work to be done, the military has traditionally been ahead of general society in terms of diversity and respect.  Similarly, Magellan Federal has enjoyed the many benefits of a very diverse team, bringing a multitude of rich experiences and perspectives, unified by our compassion and commitment to service.  It was my honor to recently rename our headquarters conference room after Lieutenant General Hank Doctor, who served on AFSC’s Board of Director’s until his death due to illness. He was one of the highest ranking African American officers of his era and embodied many of the strengths of Dr. King.  Unknown to me at the time, until his last week on this earth, he was sneaking out against physician’s orders, without telling his wife, to help AFSC build our business strategy.

LTG Doctor was deeply devoted to our special mission and his service as Director exemplified the highest traditions of leadership and service. Hank once said that his philosophy on life was based on three principles: faith, commitment, and education. He was noted for his kindness and genuine love for all people.  At his funeral, General Colin Powell (retired), spoke with great emotion about his early years in uniform, and how vital it was to have LTG Doctor to look up to and learn from as a role model.  He described LTG Doctor as a selfless mentor, who was passionate about helping others and served as a uniquely powerful guiding beacon to many young minority officers.

As America wrestles with how we can constructively continue to improve this great nation, I think we can all learn from the lives of Dr. King and LTG Doctor.  Today we are all surrounded by people who for one reason or another are facing challenges.  Actively watch for people in your work and private lives who are facing societal/life challenges, and find ways to offer compassion, mentoring or any other support that can help them lead a healthy, vibrant life.  Remember that simply knowing that someone understands and cares about our struggles can be tremendously empowering and powerful.

Please enjoy this special holiday.  Thank you for your contributions to a better world.

Geoff Deutsch
President & CEO

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