It’s been a while since I did a Freedom Philosophy and two days after yet another tragic school massacre any words of motivation about the credit union, our services or building relationships, seem unimportant and pale in comparison to the overwhelming need to focus on much larger issues. Sadder still, as I sat down to compose this, I came across a philosophy I started to write, but did not send, back in November 2017. It started like this:
I’m tired of it. I can’t take it anymore. I’m fed up with hearing about people running over people with cars; shooting inside and outside schools, churches, nightclubs or concerts; homemade bombs on subway trains; the constant killing and blatant disregard for life perpetrated by and on, every age, race, religion, sex; everyone and anyone that walks the earth without discrimination. How did we get here?
I never completed it because when I got to that question I realized I couldn’t answer it. Worse yet, if I tried, I could potentially outrage or alienate people Freedom depends on for its success. What does that say? As a person I should be able to express opinions, express contempt for a system, society or government that fails to protect its people. As CEO, however, I must be careful about what I say and concerned with how they can positively or negatively influence. The impact of any stance I take, or comments I make, can be far reaching in terms of the ability of the credit union to serve or even survive. Boycotts, loss of business, driving a philosophical wedge between the company and community, can spell catastrophe. Is there common ground?
Yes. We can all agree that the taking of innocent lives in such ways as we have become accustomed to must end. Regardless of the why, ideologies, rights, philosophies, underlying issues and so on, we can all agree something has gone terribly wrong. More importantly, we can all, in our own way, agree to stand up, be counted, and find answers; not only to the question, “How did we get here?”, but also, “What can we do?” As we do, we can also agree, at the very least, that we must try to make the world a better place by respecting one another, caring for one another and realizing that we actually have the power to make a difference with every word, every action or inaction, every day.