In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union

December 13, 2016

In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union

Our recent presidential election in the United States has stirred many emotions and raised eyebrows across our great country. It is hard to be reminded that we are not perfect and harder still to face that we are not able to fully control our personal circumstances. In a moment that was remarkable for its unexpectedness, many across the nation may feel less included and less sure about what the future holds for them.

 "Many across the nation may feel less included and less sure about what the future holds for them."

It’s during these times that we need to act on the values that we espouse. It’s during these times that we need to strengthen each other and avoid unintended messages or careless behavior to weaken the fabric of our community. One of the most significant determinants of happiness during challenging times is the quality of our relationships with others. While we all know that being positive is so important to our personal wellbeing and functioning, it’s all too easy to underestimate the impact that we have on each other on a day-to-day basis. We should resolve to make each day a personal campaign to lift the spirits of our colleagues and to be responsive to their concerns. That is one of the foundations to diversity and inclusion: the mutual responsibility we share to make it better for each other and to never stop believing that the person we see in the mirror each day has the power to make a positive difference. 

We talk a lot at Marriott about unity and the family-feel of our company. It’s our way of acknowledging that our community is only as good as the degree to which everyone feels that they belong and that they are home. By uniting on all we hold in common, we are better able to also treasure the unique qualities that make each of us special. This too is foundational to diversity and inclusion at Marriott. It’s about feeling like family. It’s knowing that together we can make great things happen.

As we enter this season for giving thanks, I am filled with gratitude for the gift we have at Marriott. It’s a company culture that places taking care of people above all else, and to lift each other up in both the triumphant and challenging times. Our community is only as strong as our personal commitment to live those values each day. Today, when some may feel more vulnerable than they did just a short time ago, we have a great opportunity. Let’s show the world the healing power of unity and family. Let’s show the difference that every one of us can make, and how by acting together in thoughtful and constructive ways we create a better world.

Social progress rarely comes smoothly. It mostly comes in fits and starts, and often the greatest advances are precipitated by the realization that not all is well and that we may have taken the wellbeing of our neighbor for granted. Let’s recommit to listen to and take care of each other. Yes, we are not perfect and it’s hard to confront our collective frailties. But, we are fortunate to live in a country that despite imperfections is constantly being enriched through the diversity and character of its people. Let’s be thankful for our many blessings and the opportunity to create a better tomorrow. 

"It's about feeling like family. It's knowing that together we can make great things happen."

At a time when our present circumstances have our attention, let’s give thanks for each other and resolve to work together toward a better union. Together, we’ll make it better.

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This blog originally appeared on November 22, 2016, on LinkedIn. Reposted with permission.

The Authors: 

David A. Rodriguez, Ph.D., is executive vice president and global chief human resources officer for Marriott International. He is on the board of directors’ Committee for Excellence that focuses on advancing global diversity and inclusion in the company. David is also a member of the HR People + Strategy Advisory Committee.