Robin Miner-SwartzRobin is one of the smartest people I know.  We met years ago, but became friends after I joined Wharton Center and she worked at the Lansing State Journal.  I would NEVER want to play trivial pursuit with her because she knows (and can recall) facts like no other person I know.  Unfortunately I was on an opposing team against her on WKAR’s Quizbusters and my team lost big-time!

What I adore about Robin is her positive attitude and smile. (As you can see in her picture above it’s contagious)  I’ve never seen her in a bad mood, upset or heard her say anything negative about anyone.  I feel blessed to be one of the very first people she called when she was coming out.  I’ll never forget that day.  We talked, hugged and I knew she would be okay.  Not only is she okay, she’s blossomed and I’m so proud of her.

Who or what inspires you?

People who back their words up with action. People who show up! One of the reasons I love Lansing as much as I do is it’s full of people who are ready, willing and able to make things happen – social, political, economic or otherwise. They have an idea, they gather up some friends and they do, they create, they help. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and say there’s nothing to do or things are bad or hard. What takes work is actually doing something about that. I’m inspired by all of those people.

Do you have a slogan, motto or mantra?

My first instinct was to say I don’t, but if I’m being honest, something I’ve said a lot in my head lately is, “Stop praying, start helping.” And I don’t mean that to be dismissive of religion. What I mostly mean is an oversimplification of what I said about what inspires me. Do it. Help. Everyone is able to help something in some way. Want something to change? Work for it. Lend a hand.

Do you have a lesson or thought to share?

My dad told me one of the best things anyone has ever said to me. When I came out to him, he told me, “All we have in our lives is time, and you should be spending it with the person you love.” That was a gift in about a hundred different ways.

How do you deal with stress?

I’m happy to say I’m not a stressed-out person. I used to be – my work/life balance was pretty out of whack. It wasn’t until that changed that I really appreciated how relaxed I am. Still, I do like to find some quiet time and space, and so I’ve started doing yoga. I danced for years growing up, and to find that I can reconnect with my flexibility all these years later has been really rewarding.

Anything you want to share?

Something I’ve started doing more often in the past four years is writing random notes to people; actual, handwritten notes. Sometimes it’s a thank-you note for something someone gave me or did for me; sometimes it’s just a note to say, “Hey, you’re awesome.” The act of doing that always leaves me with a good feeling. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll force myself to stop and think about someone I can say something nice to. It sounds cliché, but it turns my mood around every single time.



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