Colleagues, Team Members, Friends, and “Family”:
Global pandemic. Divisive rhetoric. Recession. Systemic racism. Civil unrest. Climate change. On their own, each issue represents a monumental challenge for the United States of America — let alone the global community. Yet, here we are, faced with the totality of these seemingly insurmountable problems. As with any challenge we are faced with, we have a choice to make: Lay down and surrender. Or, stand-up and work the problem.
Despite the perpetual drumbeat of bad news, we must be intentional and work hard to maintain perspective. For without it, we are subject to become victims of circumstance, insecurity, desperation, and anxiety. Reason yields to emotion. Our thoughts become overwhelmed and critical thinking, cloudy. Therefore, let us seek perspective.
- Historical. For nearly 250 years, America has persevered from one crisis through to the next: war, depression, pandemic, natural disaster, gun violence, etc. Has it ever been easy? Certainly not. The night is darkest just before the dawn. Though it may be challenging to see, we will emerge stronger than ever before.
- The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis. In incredibly short order, we have made massive societal adjustments to manage the impacts. The growth clip of the pandemic is slowing. And there is a tremendous amount of investment, research, and development, with some of the best minds in the world, working to minimize and hopefully eradicate this disease.
- These are times of divisive rhetoric, a crisis of culture. Fortunately, 2020 is an election year. Soon we shall have a meaningful opportunity to exercise our vote and drive whatever change it is we want to see. Debates on social media will only get us so far. Elections matter. Vote.
- We are in a recession, an economic crisis. Businesses are re-opening and people are getting back to work. The impetus of this recession was an unpredictable, catastrophic event; not part of a normal cyclical downturn. Our new normal may be different, but consumers will consume. Things will get better.
- Systemic racism is, at its core, a crisis about the soul of our society. We, along with many of you, are disturbed by the injustice that plagues our country. Clearly, the national conversation has been elevated and this problem is being given the attention it so desperately needs and deserves. In the spirit of seeking a better world, for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren, we pray that these events shall not go by in vain. Rather, that as a nation we may fulfill the concept of ‘Equal Justice Under the Law.’
- Prior to the pandemic, the cause, risks, impacts, and remedies of climate change were beginning to garner regular mainstream media attention. This is a crisis in slow-motion that will hit public health, the economy, culture, society, and most certainly human rights. The good news is not that the tide is turning – it has turned. For the first time in 130 years, renewable energy production in the United States has surpassed coal. And more electric cars are being sold than ever before. We have a long, long way to go to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, but this is progress; net-zero energy is coming. Through our continued innovation and deployment of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and services we will continue transforming the world.
Still yet, you may remain daunted by the scale of these issues. If so, we offer the following actionable items, for your consideration. First, as a reminder, maintain perspective and look for the good. Do not be naïve, but staying positive requires choice, intention, and critical thinking. Second, carry your world on your shoulders, not the world. That is, to say, do not worry about things beyond your control. Someone once said worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. Your resources are limited. Focus them in areas where you have control and, or influence. Similarly cut out the noise. Seek truth when you absolutely need to be but be judicious in so doing. Apply yourself where and when it matters most.
Finally, beyond their respective magnitude and impact, I believe each of these issues has one more critical attribute in common: they are incredibly complex. We cannot solve them if we remain entrenched and endeavor for our respective “side” to win. We can and will continue solving complex issues if we remain open minded, empathetic, collaborative, and firmly commit to a better future.
To our children, and grandchildren,
Craig M. Davis
President & Employee-Owner
Chairman & CEO