Former congressman Beto O’Rourke gave an emotional response when asked about resilience and his greatest professional setback.
“Everything that I’ve learned about resilience, I’ve learned from my hometown of El Paso, Texas,” O’Rourke said, referring to a mass shooting at a Walmart last month that killed 22 people. “The very thing that drew that killer to us is the very thing that helps us set the example for the rest of this country. We don’t see our differences as disqualifying or dangerous: We see them as foundational to our success, to our strength and to our security and to our safety.”
O’Rourke said he had just the day before visited the head coach of the El Paso Fusion, a youth soccer team for 10- and 11-year-old girls. That coach, Luis Calvillo, had been shot multiple times, but was still trying to coach the soccer team from his hospital bed.
Another coach on the team was fighting for his life as well. It was those two men and their wives who exemplified resilience, O’Rourke said.
“When we end this scourge of gun violence in this country, when we finally confront the racism that exists in America, when we are defined not by our fears, but instead by our aspirations and our ambitions, it will be in large part, I think, thanks to the example that El Paso has set,” O’Rourke concluded.