Governor Abbott has created a Strike Force to Open Texas
Governor Abbott has created a Strike Force to Open Texas.

New Life Is On Its Way

While plenty of Texas trees, like pines and live oaks, maintain their color throughout the dormant season, we’re fond of those like the Lost Maples outside San Antonio that lose their leaves every year, glowing brightly in the fall then looking ragged even as we celebrate winter holidays. We don’t despair because we know they’ll be back come springtime.

I believe a strong parallel can be drawn between the Texas economy and a tree that’s gone dormant for the winter. Even as it stands leafless in the grey cold, it’s not dead, but preparing to bloom again as it returns to its full vitality. If the leafless tree in your life is a lost job and the need to accept unemployment benefits, or a business whose closure has been mandated by the state, it probably feels like a death, but I sincerely believe springtime is coming.

On Friday, I was honored to be included in a strike force that Governor Abbott has charged with paving a path forward out of these dark economic times. It’s a remarkable assemblage of Texas talent with expertise in critical economic categories ranging from health care and manufacturing to retail sales and foodservice. My role on this all-star team is to serve as a conduit to my colleagues in the Texas House and their constituents, so we can find the most sensible way forward.

As the solutions and recommendations from the task force take shape, the responsibility of each and every Texan will remain unchanged: to make prudent choices and consider others as we go.

So let’s check our hearts during this process and reflect upon our shared humanity. Let’s have tough conversations – energetic exchanges between informed, passionate people are essential to forging workable solutions – but let’s build each other up along the way.

Let’s add an extra measure of grace for one another as we venture back out into the world, instead of immediately judging one another on the decisions we’re making on how to best protect the health of our families.

If this trying time has taught us anything, it’s that we still need one another and need to remember that the actions I choose today have consequences to those I interact with tomorrow.

Let’s extend that same grace to business owners who are working to adopt new routines to keep their customers and employees safe. Let’s offer compassion to business owners whose establishments must remain closed until the threat subsides further and find ways to offer them meaningful support.

I’m convinced we’ll look back on this time and tell a story of the unique resilience that is woven into the average Texan. Our opportunity is to write that story together every single day, with every decision we make to remain informed, to stay home and to press on together. The roots of our culture and our economy are deep and our time of renewal is coming, if we persevere and stick together, apart.

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