This is not the kind of blog post I ever expected to write for SQL Solutions Group, because it has nothing to do with technology or business or what we do here at SSG. It has everything to do with who we are as people and how we relate to others. You could say it’s a political post, but more than anything it should provoke some thoughts and actions. And, in the end, I will bring it back around to the SQL Community.
This is a time of turmoil in America. As I look out the window of my home in the Orlando area, there is nothing unusual, but across the country there are protests (some might say riots), there is anger, and there is tragedy. The death of George Floyd due to highly questionable police tactics has reignited deep, important questions about race, community, and how we can and should live together.
I thought long and hard about this post. Above all I wondered what value my words could possibly have. In these challenging days, what could I write that would mean anything to anyone—when words seem so useless and empty in the face of injustice, violence, and turmoil?
It would be easy to put on a brave face and carry on as normal. As a communications professional, however, I know words do matter and what we communicate is important. Words are often our best resources because they express ideas—ideas of understanding, of connection, community, caring, respect, and support.
As individuals who play a role in society, we may not always agree, but disagreement doesn’t have to mean contention or anger. Sharing words together means a dialogue and working towards solutions.
Perhaps Dr. Martin Luther King used words best when he said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
I don’t want to be a mute witness to tragic events. I must express my disgust and sorrow at what happened to George Floyd, whose death is, tragically, only the latest in a long line of senseless deaths that need not have happened. As Gail Miller (owner of the Utah Jazz) expressed so well, we need to hold ourselves and those around us accountable and to the highest standards of decency.
And, I don’t want my words to be empty. In my small orbit, and perhaps imperfectly as an imperfect person, I will live a life of inclusion and empathy. I will not make assumptions or judgments and will find ways to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I hope the right words and righteous actions spark a change that expands from hearts to homes, and from there to colleagues and communities, our states and our nation, and around the world with hope and understanding. I am committed to being part of the solution.
I decided to share these words because I’ve always been amazed and impressed (and I frequently say so) with the camaraderie and caring of the SQL Community. If there is a group that already exemplifies inclusion, understanding, and support — if there is a group that could be an example of how to treat and care for each other — it’s this one. So, let’s be found leading the way to a better life for everyone.
Share your experiences, ideas, thoughts, frustrations, concerns, complaints, questions…we don’t get anywhere if no one shares.