“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
This weekend, hate, bigotry, and racism reared their ugly heads on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, inciting violence that cost the lives of innocent Americans. The repercussions of these despicable actions reverberate across our country. When something like this happens, one of the most damaging consequences is a loss of hope. The ideals upon which we seek to build our country and our community can seem farther away than ever, if not unattainable. There’s a temptation to retreat and become further polarized, quietly. There’s a danger of leading with fear. It’s precisely this sense of despair that hatred and bigotry prey upon.
In times like these, true leaders, of which our nonprofit sector has thousands, step off the sidelines to defend the community they believe in, to uphold the basic dignity of all people, and to reignite the hope that has been assaulted. They redouble their efforts to embrace the refugee, care for the aged, educate the child, and support the veteran.
Nelson Mandela said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” At CNPE, our call to this community is to choose hope. To embrace the community you wish you create. To get involved. To speak up. To call out injustice. To volunteer. To donate. To choose hope. We are a community of love, compassion, and possibility. Let us emulate these values and be bigger than our fears. Our keynote speaker from last year’s Annual Conference says it best:
“When I lose hope, I think of all of you out there every single day working to make the world better. You give me hope. We are part of the group that’s lifting up families and building communities. We are bigger and stronger than hatred and terrorism. Our work is critical, and it makes a difference. The arc of the moral universe bends towards justice, history has repeatedly seen, because we bend it that way.”
— Vu Le, NonprofitAF.com
Center for Nonprofit Excellence