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Peace

 

When I think about March, I think about Spring and the rebirth and renewal all over the world. The weather is getting warmer, COVID-19 cases are declining and restrictions are loosening, the recipe for opportunity is written.

In my March 2021 blog post, “Rebirth,” I was filled with optimism. I was optimistic that the pandemic would soon come to an end, optimistic about UTC’s future, and optimistic about the world. Sadly, my thoughts are different this year. While I am still holding on to optimism, I can’t help but feel saddened when I listen to the news about the people in Ukraine

Over the past few weeks, we have all witnessed the invasion of Ukraine unfold. Thousands of civilians and soldiers have lost their lives due to numerous senseless acts of violence. Our phones, computers, and televisions have been riddled with tragic images of Ukraine’s current state and the innocent people who call this country their home throughout the world.

The fact is, we all can connect with this conflict on so many levels that are personal to us.  People are left to fend for themselves because of their citizenship status, economic class, and even skin color is an issue that doesn’t know a particular country or community. I can’t help but imagine, “what if that were my father? Husband? Daughter? Friend?” I can remember going to Nigeria with my dad and witnessing unimaginable poverty and at the same time seeing wealth that did not regard the impoverished.  I can also remember seeing similar misdistribution of wealth and disregard for people right here in the United States.   I also have the privilege of serving in the utility industry that fights every day to bridge the gap for the unserved, underserved, and underrepresented communities throughout our nation.  Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion at its finest.

Russian cyberattacks have left many citizens without access to the outside world. Communication is little to none, and this has been happening for days, weeks. In today’s technologically advanced world, most of us wouldn’t last an hour without access to our phones and computers.  As we know the telecommunications network is a critical piece of all technology deployment that ultimately saves lives. I think of this and realize that ensuring everyone has access to broadband is more important than ever if we are to make sure that everyone has access to online medical care and other critical services that those in Ukraine must now do without in the face of an unprecedented disaster.

Our government is doing what it can in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and some of that response can be uncomfortable for us. But it’s nothing compared to what the Ukrainians are enduring. Yes, we’re paying more for gas, but we have other options and we have a utility workforce that is developing and deploying solutions daily. We can work from home, ride our bikes, take public transportation, try carpooling. We cannot let this distract us from what is going on outside of our walls. We must continue to look at this from a humanistic standpoint.

And this humanism can be seen right here at home.  I, for one, am prouder than ever to serve in an industry where people are running to disasters to help their neighbors and people they don’t even know in the wake of blizzards, wildfires, hurricanes, and more. These are the unsung heroes, wherever they are and whatever they do.

Although this post may not feel as lighthearted and upbeat as usual, I cannot ignore what is going on in the world. We can’t. We can’t turn a blind eye to what we see on the news, just because it’s happening on another continent. Yes, this has become an energy crisis but first and foremost, this is a humanitarian crisis.

I will continue to show my support, advocate, and pray for peace for those in Ukraine and their loved ones all over the world.  My prayers for peace are extended daily to all of the utility/ energy workers as they bring peace to chaotic situations.  In addition to being unsung heroes, they are peacemakers!

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