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Corporate Culture

Getting Real about 2020

Mark Fitzgibbons
Mark Fitzgibbons
Communication Director, Employee Benefits

Way back in early May, my colleague Don Appleby wrote a great blog post he called Getting Raw and Real about COVID-19. Today, I’m borrowing a page from his playbook and skipping over the usual thought leader musings to reflect on where we’re at today. If you’re looking for pearls of employee communication wisdom, skip this episode and I’ll see you next time.

“This is an extraordinary moment.” I’ve said a variation of this out loud (or to myself) every day for the past 100 days or so. But, let’s look beyond the easy “No duh!” response. We are now simultaneously grappling with a global health crisis that has claimed over 125,000 U.S. lives, an economic shock that has forced 40 million people into unemployment, and social upheaval that is challenging all of us to think and act differently.

In the midst of all this, the latest tragic killings in cities across the country, compounded by other senseless killings over the years, have sparked an outpouring of decades of collective anger and frustration over the unacceptable abuse of power and authority. This pain is real and exists in every one of our communities.

It feels bleak. This bleakness may be new to some of us. But for too many, “bleak” is an everyday reality. When I consume too much news, the bleakness can feel overwhelming. Then I remember what every news outlet knows — bad/sensational stories get more clicks and eyeballs than good ones. So, I look elsewhere.

That’s when I see people doing what they can to make things better. I see people caring for each other through acts of kindness. Neighbors, colleagues, strangers…many are stepping up to help, stepping out of their comfort zone to advocate for change, and leaning in to becoming a better person and building a better future.

And I realize that this is the moment for extra effort, for going the extra mile, for listening without defensiveness, for finding my niche, and for taking action to make a difference.

This can be a time when each of us can be a force for good. Let’s make the rest of 2020 one of our finest moments.

Be safe.

Love each other.

Wash your hands.

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