In trying to put the violent events in Pittsburgh and Kentucky into some sort of perspective, we here at Children’s Health Fund are struggling with our emotions. Many of us work here in response to what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
In our reflections and dialogue this past week we searched for answers, and we found sorrow; we looked for progress, and we found pain. And we know that the pain is not just ours, children — those we serve, and all children — are seeing what we see and hearing what we hear.
“We take the shape of those who shape us,” my dad used to say, and as we look out at tomorrow’s leaders today, we know they need a nurturing environment to grow and thrive, but at the same time we know that the exposure to intolerance, violence and hate will have an impact.
So, we are asking ourselves what can we do — right now — to model the change we want to see, and we want our children to see?
And where we’ve landed is that while we cannot end hatred in the world, we can end it in our lives; while we cannot make the world tolerant, we can model tolerance in our homes and here at our workplace; and while we cannot right every wrong, we can continue to work toward our mission of ensuring all children have access to high quality healthcare, especially those most vulnerable: those we serve.
It may not be a panacea for the horrible circumstances we are facing, but it is a commitment that reflects the positivist and hopeful aspirations we pursue — our work towards ending childhood poverty. And finally, it speaks to our belief that indeed, “The arc of the moral universe is long…” as Dr. King said, “but it bends toward justice.”
We are a part of that arc and we will not lose hope.