Corporate America Exemplifies Tikkun Olam

In the past few weeks, we have witnessed the two extremes of our society. To simply put it, we have seen the worst and the best of humanity.

From Charlottesville to Hurricane Harvey, it’s clear that there is certainly evil in this world, but there is also compassion and generosity.

For those who are catching up, white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday, Aug.12 to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Violence ensued and James Alex Fields, 20, consumed with hate, drove a car into a field of counter protesters resulting in three deaths and more than 30 injuries.

But thankfully, where there is darkness, there will come light. In other words, Vayo'mer 'Elohim, “Let there be light,” summarizes this concept.

The devastating results of Hurricane Harvey has brought us pictures of that light. Photo after photo, story after story, we have seen humanity at its best. Individuals who do not know each other or care about the color of their skin, their religion or who they love, have been risking their lives to rescue total strangers and offer comfort and aid. In some cases, people have even opened up their homes to strangers.

This grace is not limited to people alone. Large corporate companies who usually have a negative connotation, have taken incredible strides to help Houston get back on their feet.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has stopped its shipment of beer to can drinking water for victims of Hurricane Harvey. They’re shipping 100,000 cans to those affected by the hurricane.

Apple donated $2 million to the Red Cross and matched employee donations 2 to 1. Kellogg Company Fund has donated $100,000 to nonprofit Feeding America.

With other donations from companies such as Disney, Google and Microsoft, corporate America has already raised $55 million for Harvey relief.

Being socially responsible is important to my generation when we are considering a job or for buying services and goods.

The people and responders of Texas and Corporate America have exemplified the meaning of “Tikkun Olam” (the Jewish concept defined by our edict that it is our responsibility to perform acts of kindness to repair the world).

Although we hope for the best, we are not naive to think that the future will not hold more hate and pain for us at college and in our communities.

But, it is comforting to know society and corporations have proven they are capable of bringing out the best in humanity. We, as a community, must hold onto that knowledge when the darkness overshadows the light again.

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