"Life is difficult. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we can transcend it."
Those are the first words in one of my most admired books, The Road Less Traveled, by Dr. M. Scott Peck. Such an arduous yet intriguing start to the premise, that while life is a series of problems, we can either moan about them, or solve them. I could not agree more.
Not long ago, I unwittingly decided to walk away from a 20+ year career in corporate America to found Saving Promise--a national domestic violence prevention organization inspired by five generations of mothers and daughters in my family who survived more than sixty years of domestic violence and my granddaughter, a little girl named Promise.
My journey, I now understand, did not begin when Promise became the fifth generation in my family to become a victim of a national health crisis that, according to the CDC's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, impacts 20 people per minute and millions of Americans each year. It all began at the tender moments when I was nurturing my career--developing the skills and discipline that would later become invaluable to building Saving Promise.
Call me a child of righteous corporate 'mind speak,' but I never lost sight of that discipline. In fact, in The Road Less Traveled, Dr. Peck suggests that "without discipline we can solve nothing." It has been my assertion from the moment I founded Saving Promise that nonprofits should embrace the disciplines of for-profit entities. I would go one step further and say that with the challenges we face in our world today, if we maintain 'business as usual,' then we will undoubtedly continue to fall prey to global pandemics that wreak havoc on our world.
That is why I turned to LinkedIn to recruit corporate executives who we identified as "change agents" to help me solve one of the most complex problems -- domestic violence -- that has gone on for far too long. These corporate leaders have pledged to share their personal and professional knowledge about how we can make a prevention-focused impact in areas such as the workplace, in the health care sector and through public awareness campaigns. Our objective is to shift the conversation in this country from one of a 'reactive model' to a 'proactive model' and spark a cultural transformation.
That's what Saving Promise has always been about from day one and that's what these corporate leaders, with their expertise and deep understanding in how to effectively communicate and influence individuals to action, will help us do.
But no one organization can solve this problem alone. It requires public and private sector collaboration. That is why I am appealing to corporate America in particular to stand with us on this vitally important issue. I understand that domestic violence is a matter we don't usually talk about in our boardrooms or around the water cooler, but as leaders in our communities, we have an opportunity to help protect our loved ones and prevent this epidemic that costs our economy billions a year in rising health care expenses and lost productivity.
I do not take it lightly when I say that I have dedicated my life to saving Promise and the countless other Promises and families that are affected by this terrible crisis. Therefore, from my heart to yours, I ask you to join us. We need your resources, we need your commitment and we need you to be part of the promise for change.
This blog is shown as it appeared on LinkedIn.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.