We chose our Quote of the Week because we were looking to Sargent Shriver for insights about the violence we inflict on each other in this country. The senseless violence of mass shootings; the violent killings of unarmed citizens, and particularly of young, black men at the hands of police officers; the violence inflicted primarily on women as uncovered by the #metoo movement: all of these horrific actions must move us to be more self-aware. We must ask ourselves: what can we do differently? How can we as a country deal more effectively with distress, with conflict, with fear of those we perceive of as "other"?
There is no one magic solution to achieve a kinder, gentler society--it requires ongoing effort at all levels. As Sargent Shriver points out in his 1964 Address to the NAACP, we must act through our institutions, ensuring that everyone has access to economic opportunities, education, health care, and justice. But we must also act in our communities (both physical and online), by showing respect for our fellow citizens and our surroundings. And we must act in our workplaces and in our homes, by creating safe spaces with and for the people we see each day.
If we make each other's safety and well-being a priority, we can ensure a more peaceful future for all of us.