Empathy is Nonpartisan

Dear all:

As the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center approaches, I’m really struggling, thinking, and processing. We seem to have made things worse for ourselves over the past 20 years.

At home, we’re having arguments over masks and shots, defunding the police, canceling people. And, we’re debasing our own currency, for cheap political points.

It’s time for us to turn to our left and to our right and embrace each other. And embrace our differences!

Just as issues surrounding economic freedom are nonpartisan, so are many of these issues that we face. But getting to a place where these issues truly feel nonpartisan requires dialogue, openness, and civility.

My parents and your grandparents talked about “where were you on Pearl Harbor Day?” Every one of you, I believe, knows where YOU were on 9/11/2001. So many of the kids in uniform defending us and sacrificing couldn’t. Most of the thirteen who died in Afghanistan at the hands of ISIS last week were infants on September 11, 2001.

It’s time for us all to wake up, pull together, and embrace the inalienable rights granted to us by our Creator…to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

No matter our differences, they’re petty compared to the atrocities of 20 years ago and to the atrocities and mistakes of the last week.

I’m thinking of the many employee-owners we work alongside at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories who have served overseas. Many know people who did not come back. They know – or are – families and friends facing a path forward in life without their children, friends, brothers, sisters, parents, spouses, and fellow service members.

During a time that is challenging and often confusing to all of us, there are concerns that we all have as individuals – no matter your beliefs, your passion is where you stand.

It is so incredibly important that we treat each other with kindness. Right now, we must commit to being understanding and patient through it all.

We truly are all in this together. Regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or not vaccinated, whether you want to wear a mask, you feel compelled to wear a mask, or you don’t want to wear a mask – no matter your choices, no matter your beliefs, please, please understand that to get through this successfully, we need to be kind to each other. We need to be patient and understanding.

This is an action we can all take today and every day.

We may not agree with the political actions of our country. That’s OK. Since this is We the People with inalienable rights granted by our Creator, we shoulder responsibility – and pain – together.

I’m concerned for all of us…who as a nation have lost a lot.

We have to pull together, now. There are too many enemies we all face, in common today: war, inflation, civil strife, petty politics.

No matter the topic, no matter the challenge, no matter what, we can (and should) demonstrate kindness, openness, and understanding and ask those we work with, those we elect, those we lead, and those we follow to do the same. This would go a long way to a better world, and we can make a difference.

What shall WE do, within our families, among our friends and neighbors? Within our communities and businesses? The problem is big and difficult for me to imagine how myself, our company, or our community could impact a meaningful change.

Ignoring it all won’t heal it. Time won’t either. Working on it together, will.

Let’s talk. Like most problems you need to define what the desired outcome needs to be and then develop steps to get there.

Then act.


Thank you,