CEO Message: Words into action (Vote.)
Words that are written and spoken matter. Concepts are expressed and then they take hold. Ideas have consequences.
Last week, 11 people in Pittsburgh were killed while worshipping at their synagogue. They were shot because the gunman believes that all Jews should be killed.
On Oct. 24, two African-Americans were killed in a grocery store in Kentucky by someone who, when confronted by a citizen, said, "Whites do not shoot other white people."
School shootings have become commonplace and are fueled by dark ideologies of hate. Bullying has become rampant in schools and online, giving rise to mental health issues that destroy and take lives.
We cannot ignore what is happening as a result of toxic ideas and hateful words. Now is the time to speak out and to act in harmony with the words we express. Early voting is already open for the elections being held on Tuesday — and your ballot is one important way for your voice to be heard.
It wasn't until after World War II that German clergyman Martin Niemöller was finally able to articulate this famous warning that came too late, "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me."
We cannot wait anymore. We must speak out against the language of hate. We must counter violence with ideas that have the power to transform and build our nation and our community. The Declaration of Independence, the founding document of our nation, contains these defining words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
These words are our best legacy, contain our best ideas, and state our highest goals. Now is the time to proclaim and live them.
(Turn back your clocks on Sunday. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Make your voice heard by voting.)
About The Author
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas. More stories by this author