Even after months of division and tumult, the video from Capitol Hill was jarring. The loss of life was despairing. The threat to democracy was chilling.

In the end, however, democracy prevailed. As the Capitol shone in the night sky, damaged but standing tall, lawmakers inside this beacon of self-rule confirmed the principles upon which our nation was founded.

As an organization, SCA was founded on the concept of service. Service to the land, service to others, and service to future generations so that all may enjoy the richness of nature. Such selflessness is a central tenet of what is referred to as conservation leadership: the idea that the greater good far outweighs one’s own self-interest.

We can, at times, take these values for granted. That is, until they are tested. That’s when we are reminded how precious they are to us as a people. How enduring they are amid physical and political assault. How bright they are to withstand one of America’s darkest days.

SCA thus sees hope emerging from the events of yesterday and overnight. Perhaps now we can set aside our own agendas and work as one to bridge our differences. With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaching, we are reminded of Dr. King’s words. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

We believe those who choose democracy are smart enough to figure that out.