The Great Author and professor at Oxford University C.S. Lewis wrote an article that he eventually delivered on air called “Living in an Atomic Age” in the summer of 1948. As I read this and was praying for our company and our people, I thought it was appropriate to share a few thoughts.
From C.S. Lewis:
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
I know many of you are searching for answers to questions that we still don’t know how to answer as of yet. We are living in an unprecedented time in our country and many people are afraid and unsure where to turn. I cannot answer all of your questions, as I myself have many of them as well. I can offer you truth, a truth that will stand the test of time, a truth that will withstand in the face of fear and uncertainty, unwavering, bold as a lion. I can tell each of you, that I know as a country, we are going to come out of this stronger than ever.
Our families are going to be better for the time spent together, our communities will be better from an extended time of true compassion, sharing, and true love for one another. I will not allow fear, anxiety, panic and hysteria to lead me and my family for even a second. I will rest in the fact that I am certain of a truth that will never lead me or my family astray. I pray for Roberts Manufacturing every single morning, I pray for all the employees, your families, children as well as ownership. I have done this everyday from the time I hired into this company.
I want each of you to know that we are looking for answers, and doing what we know how to do to make sure all of us are working safe and taking care of the things we can control, and trying to not worry about the issues that are outside of our control.
Today, let us begin to stop passing on fear, uncertainty, panic and negativity. Let’s begin to pass on hope, joy, life, love, and care to one another. Let someone know today that everything will be ok, let them know that they are not alone, that they are cared for and that we will stand together in the face of this and we will take care of one another. We don’t need to have all the answers, what people need is to know that they are ok and that we are going to get through this time. We can either allow this thing to control our lives, thoughts and emotions or we can stand up and speak out and say enough is enough.
We do not deny the presence of this virus, but we do not need to allow this to rule over us and control the narrative with fear and doubt. This weekend, as you spend time at home with your families, take the time to remember all the good things of life, all the things you have been blessed with and enjoy time with each other and do not allow fear to overtake your hearts and homes. I don’t know how long it will take, but I know we will come out of this on the other side better, stronger and more prepared to face whatever may lie ahead in the future.
I say thank you, to each of you. Thank you for working through the chaos and the constant changes from hour to hour. Thank you for working hard while we all deal with what is before us. It is because of each and every one of you that Roberts Manufacturing is what it is today and I can not thank you enough. We will do our very best to continue to pass on information as it is made available.
Stand Strong, Have Faith, and look to care for your neighbors, whomever they might be. If we as a country stand together there is nothing that we can not overcome.
Terry L. Knapp – Vice President