By Nadia Beidas
This year undoubtedly has been a difficult year for everyone, but the Lewis community can derive and further define our moral and ethical values in keeping with our Lewis University mission values. Simultaneously, as we look toward 2021, we can begin to think of moving forward and healing.
Unfortunately, we have seen too many examples of behavior not to engage in in recent days. But we can focus on how we want our world to be, and what our role is in creating a positive environment in moving forward.
As we enter the work force, there will be times where we receive a promotion or a position we seek. But there will also be times where we do not achieve a goal we hope for, and this is a familiar part of life. We can always choose to be gracious and congratulate the other person, even if we think we should have gotten the intended promotion or position.
Good rapport and team work is always a part of a professional life. If one undermines another person who has been chosen for a position or promotion, it will only make one look petty or worse, a sore loser. It will also make upper management question promoting that person in the future.
While good teamwork and sportsmanship is important, it is still important to stand up if there is a situation going on that is not right. If one sees something going on that is blatantly wrong, then one has a responsibility to say something and stand up for what is right, just and fair.
If one does not stand up and stay something, then nothing changes and bad things continue to happen. Sometimes we stand up at a great risk to ourselves, but in order to help create a better world, these risks are sometimes necessary.
Take a look at civil rights leader and late Congressman John Lewis. He was arrested over 40 times during his protests of segregation. But he kept soldiering on to stand on the side of right. Lewis famously said, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
Prior to this election, many politicians and celebrities used their platform to encourage people to vote and remind us what is at stake. Former first lady Michelle Obama implored Americans to vote when she said, “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can and they will if we don’t make a change in this election.”
In addition, sometimes we have to stand up against our own inner circle to make a difference.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney risked angering the Republican party when he voted to impeach President Donald Trump, when he refused to vote for him and when he congratulated President-elect Joe Biden.
Late Republican Senator John McCain voted against repealing Obamacare back in 2017. He and Biden were also good friends and were able to work together although they were from different political parties. They put America before their political parties, and we can take this lesson from them to apply to our own lives.
We may not always agree with everyone we meet and work with, but we can communicate, show each other respect and engage in a respectful dialogue that allows us to see and understand a perspective different from our own. This enables us to work together for the good of a project, which in the workforce will be essential to focus on the task at hand rather than our differences.
We need each other more than ever these days, and we need to work together to move forward and heal. As 2020 draws to a close, a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus is on the horizon. We live in hope the death toll from this virus will cease, and soon it will be safe to be around each other again.
Keep in mind that the technology industry will need us in a variety of ways. Please continue focusing on your studies and skills. Our skills will be vital for creating a better world and a brighter future.
Once a safe vaccine is found and thoroughly vetted, hopefully the economy will improve and the technology industry will hire more recent graduates, especially women and minorities. The 2020 graduates are struggling to break into the field. As time passes and more graduates begin applying for jobs, I sincerely hope the technology industry will embrace all of us and give us all a chance to start our careers and contribute to the future of technology.
As future contributors to the technology field, we should set an example in our communities. Please follow the guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] for the holiday season. Please be safe and enjoy the holidays.