We Are All in This Together… By Mark Lampkin

As you are reading this April edition we are, I pray, at a crossroads in how to address, and defeat, the COVID-19 virus. I hope that you and your family have not been infected nor negatively impacted by this novel virus. We know that it is highly contagious and that our ability to abate it’s spread is assisted by our following stay-at-home mandates issued by our local and state leaders.

What that is doing to those of us in business can be devastating. We all count on regular customers whom we trust as a steady source of revenue. When that is interrupted by bad business practices, natural disasters or once-in-a-lifetime pandemics, we are reminded of what is really important. Family. Health. Community. Love.

Monetary success in business is a byproduct of a number of best practices. What we are facing now and into the foreseeable future will test our collective wills and beliefs. What has led America to the brink of collapse; corporate greed and the promotion of rugged individualism and materialism over communal benefit cannot be the prescription we ascribe to when we rebuild. No, there has to be a new way and a new paradigm. One that involves a dramatic change in how we live, work and play together.

I have asked many friends and acquaintances over the past few years a simple question “can a corporate CEO live off of $20 million dollars a year versus $40 million?” It is truly a moronic question to those of us who have sought to fashion our lives around salaries and net profits that fall considerably short of those numbers. Yet, the belief in many corporate boardrooms across America is that they deserve all that they can get; at the expense of the very workers whose time and toiling make it all possible.

Many of those workers who have been historically maligned and underpaid, are now deemed “essential workers” during this COVID-19 crisis. Funny how a global pandemic can remind everyone of what’s truly important. The fact that it took all of this to elevate them to a level of respectability was inevitable. May we never dismiss them again as people who just serve us…they are saving us. ALL.

And, we now see the utter foolishness of a capitalistic society that seeks to monetize education, health care and public utilities…those MUST now be made available to everyone, without concern for profit. This time in our lives is proving just how important we ALL are to each other.

Never before has the African proverb been truer: I am because WE are.”