January 6, 2021 is now seared into our memories. We saw unlawful, shameful acts attacking not just our nation’s capitol but our highest democratic principles for the peaceful transfer of power. We also saw inspiring acts of courage and integrity.
These are anxious, challenging times. As Presidents Lincoln through Obama have said, all of us must rely on our better angels to help build a more perfect union. It is everyone’s responsibility, not only for our nation but our workplaces.
In our organizations, we must work by our foundational values of respect, inclusion and civility. We’ll disagree … and should … but must do so with civility. Now it’s especially important for us to recognize our commonalities of shared purpose even as we appreciate our many varied differences. Saying the right words is not enough. Our values must drive our actions every day — in easy times and stressful times.
Yesterday, the just-elected Senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock, reminded us of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Warnock then added: “Let us each try to be a light to see our country out of this dark moment.”
In our organizations, now is a challenging time not just because of what happened yesterday but also as we respond to the pandemic and the need for more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces.
Let us be led by our values and daily acts – our own better angels – to create many, many thousands of points of light moving us towards an ever-brighter future.