Published: January 7, 2021
Yesterday’s assault on the Capitol was a chilling example of how words and actions can conspire to threaten that which we hold dear. We are thankful that the strength of our institutions, laws and norms prevailed and that the actions and proclamations of leaders across the political spectrum reinforced what we stand for. We should take confidence in that.
We should also pause, however, to consider what lies beyond the violence and criminality of these events. We are a country with deep divisions at a time when coming together to face profound challenges has seldom been more critical. We have a common enemy in COVID-19, which continues to threaten the economic and physical well-being of people and communities across the nation and exacerbate the inequities with which our society fiercely struggles. As a result, millions of our neighbors are experiencing deep stress and uncertainty in their lives. High unemployment and transitioning labor needs are causing a surge in the demand for employment services, such as those Goodwill provides. We see similar demands for housing, food, medical attention and other forms of support.
This is a time when the strength of our convictions about who we are and what we stand for as individuals and leaders — working together for the common good — must prevail. Few times in our history have demanded more of us as lawmakers, business leaders, health care workers, nonprofits and neighbors. I believe our opportunity for common ground far exceeds our differences. We can reach that common ground when we commit to serve each other as we find our way forward.
Steven C. Preston
President and CEO, Goodwill Industries International