Sunday Message From Ben: Happy Holidays and Looking Back on 2020

Aloha and Happy Holidays,

Last night my family watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” together. What great lessons as we begin to reflect on this year! In this Christmas classic movie, George Bailey works hard in his family business to support his neighbors and friends in the community despite his personal dreams of bigger things. He gets frustrated about his situation, always seeing his dreams deferred so that others can pursue their success. The movie gets pretty dark as George contemplates jumping from a bridge, thinking about his challenges. This scared my youngest son, Alex, and he didn’t want to watch as Clarence the Angel showed George Bailey what the world would be like if George had never been born. It took that “nightmare” for George to realize the many blessings that he experienced every day, and to find that despite all of his challenges, that it was still A Wonderful Life.

If there has ever been a year where I could use a little more perspective like George Bailey got from his walk with Clarence the Angel, 2020 is it!

We have all weathered an unprecedented year. Most employers have taken significant revenue hits and many have closed. All have had to adapt in radical ways, literally changing overnight. Those challenges have been real. So as we end the year and look ahead, I take inspiration from George Bailey and choose to find the positive from these challenges. We have had a year of innovation unlike any other, and there has also been so much personal and professional growth.   These challenges make us better forever – stronger, more adaptable, resilient, and compassionate – but we sometimes only see the benefits looking back. I feel a lot of pride at how so many clients have found ways to innovate and survive, and in the many examples of care from and for the community. What a blessing and inspiration to be a part of this!

2020 has been so extraordinary that we had to make a video.

This video shares the voices and experiences of a few of you, but seeks to represent all of us, in what we have been through together this year. I hope you enjoy and share this video. I humbly hope it makes you feel proud of all you have accomplished and the good you have done this year. Each can find fault and frustration at things that could have gone better, but as George Bailey showed, there are gifts even in these most difficult times, and it would have been worse if we hadn’t been here.

We know there are better days ahead. The vaccine is coming, and it looks like a true medical bullseye. With it will come renewed confidence and travel. Federal stimulus is close, finally, and we are ready and eager to help you when it is finalized. And with your help, we are advocating for freezing unemployment taxes so employers don’t have rising costs in 2021. Employers didn’t choose Covid or the shutdowns and shouldn’t have to pay the full costs of unemployment for our State.

So bring on 2021 and the next leg of this journey! 2020 has prepared us all and made us better for whatever comes. As your HR partner, we are doing everything we can to make it easier for you to be an employer in Hawaii. Thank you for your trust in us. We will be there for you with staff who care, local service when you need it, cost-saving solutions, and innovations for whatever comes next. We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you and your employees. Merry Christmas!

With Aloha,

Ben Godsey

President & CEO

Link to video