When I’m not teaching yoga or working with health coach clients, I’m a full-time web content developer for Marriott International. I work at the company’s corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.
Last September, I wrote an email to the CEO of Marriott, because I wanted the company to end its sponsorship of the NFL due to the mishandling of the Ray Rice incident. I don’t know what got into me, foolishness or bravery, but I sent my lengthy message directly to his corporate e-mail account from my corporate e-mail account. The coworker I told was a little shocked. She said he probably wouldn’t read it, and I might hear from “someone” within a week.
Well, he responded to my email within hours and asked me to call him. With fear and anxiety in my chest and nausea in my throat, I dialed his extension. His admin assistant answered, “Hi, Paula. Let me get Arne for you.” Within 30 seconds, he was on the other end thanking me for the letter and sharing how moved he was by my words. He asked my permission to share the letter with Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL.
Wow! I was dumbstruck during the exchange. The CEO of a major corporation, a Fortune 500 company, took the time to read my message AND found it powerful enough to share. All I could say was yes and thank you.
His support inspired me. If HE took the time to stop and listen, who else could potentially be interested in my message? I found the energy and motivation to finally pull together all of the stories submitted to me by victims and survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud. A few months later, I published “Unashamed Voices” and am determined to keep spreading the message that this kind of abuse happens everyday and is destroying lives. We must do something to make it stop.
Please help me spread the message. Our stories matter and ending this type of abuse doesn’t have to be an elusive undertaking when we come together with a single, compassionate mission.
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