Living and working in our dynamic world can be unsettling. Not only are we using multiple personal, portable tools to get and give information, we must well navigate many communication channels to ensure productive and positive, often virtual/distant, interactions. Many have experienced the impact of the ‘all-caps’ emails, Facebook and Twitter posts. Or significant delays in email responses, lack of a ‘like’, ‘share’, or any acknowledgement to a social media post. We’ve also received negatively charged and otherwise disarming responses and replies. If you’re like me when you receive one of those, you wonder what that interchange would have been if it were face to face. Virtual and distant connections can provide ‘cover’ for less than positive expression of feelings and thoughts. They can also still the air and energy, leaving an audience, even of one, seeking positive closure and outcome that is elusive.
This election season has created fodder for more divisive and disturbing cyber and print commentaries, posts and responses than ever witnessed. I watch young people and children at rallies standing alongside and behind speakers who are spouting hateful opinions, beliefs, and accusations about groups and individuals. I watch and listen to the accused respond with more hateful comments and outright cries of ‘war’ against opponents. Our rapid-paced, knowledge based world allow us all access all the time. I think about how to manage my own reactions and responses. Mostly, I have chosen to engage and capitalize on the positive commentaries in cyber world. I leave judgement to powers of the universe and beyond. But I am not dis- or unaffected by that which envelopes us.
Much of today’s politics lack human decency and respect. Unfortunately, this is exacerbated by 21st century information age media (and I don’t mean journalists). We cannot view this as just another day in the political arena of campaign strategies and making headlines. We can rise above and make sure we separate ugliness from recognizing quality leadership and policy recommendations. The latter has made our nation great. We are challenged today to do this because of the ever present means of communications – personal and external. This makes it more important than ever to educate ourselves and those in our charge to ferret out fact from fiction; vicious attacks from honest confrontation and truth-seeking. Calling on ours and our collective integrity, morals, ethics and values has to be our foundation for decision-making.
Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl’s 1946 book, describes his experiences during World War II. He chronicles the way he ‘coped’. Daily, Frankl would identify a positive purpose – something about which he could feel good – and then envision that outcome actually happening. He believed this process affected his future, longevity and life quality. It did. I use this far-fetched analogy to explain how I am navigating the daily onslaught of today’s political reality. I believe in the power of ‘good’ and that that there are times when bad stuff happens so that the noble can emerge. I trust this is such a time.
Chief Executive Officer