Yin and Yang. Good and Evil. Positive and Negative. There are two sides in every situation. Sometimes you have to look very hard to see these opposite forces at play and sometimes, especially in times of difficulty, they are as clear as day. People say one cannot exist without the other; that you cannot know good unless you know bad, that you can’t experience joy without knowing sadness. There is a balance to nature and there will always be those dichotomies. Yet, I am ever hopeful that the balance will always weigh more heavily on the positive and we will see more similarities and good amongst ourselves than differences even though it is the differences that seem to be made more visible and given to louder, crueler voices. Such is life these days, I guess. However, in times of adversity, such as these recent days at Freedom, my hope has been renewed.
I have seen employees put everything aside, go above and beyond, to help those in need, quell fears, and answer questions. I have met members who have remained supportive, showed great understanding and patience because of the reputation we built and the trust we earned over the years. We have had numerous messages showing appreciation for our efforts, but I know that does not mean this situation wasn’t difficult or that it didn’t cause frustration. Every member of my family, myself included, experienced the same. However, one detour on the road does not stop the journey or end the mission. It simply emboldens us to carry on and strive harder. Even in the face of adversity and when others outside of Freedom or our membership use this as an opportunity to build up their own image by tearing us down, when they convey false information despite being told the facts; we persevere, we remain steadfast, professional and committed to our members and our community.
They say the strongest steel is forged by the hottest fires. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it strength. Freedom is that steel. We are not defined by the trials we face but by how we come through them.
We greatly appreciate the support we have received. We appreciate the recognition that in 70 years nothing has tested us like this. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve and to earn your patronage and trust every day. We are a community institution, a not-for-profit cooperative committed to, and reliant upon, our members, our employees and our community. That will never change. So, as you stay the course with us, as you turn from negative emotions, as you ignore those opportunistic voices that would try to convince you otherwise, you will see that we are who we have always been; we are your partner, we are your advocate, we are your Credit Union.
We are Freedom.