These last few weeks have been well, I’m not even sure what the word is. Unprecedented? Yes, absolutely. Crazy? You bet! Like nothing we’ve ever seen? For sure. A time of incredible opportunity. Whoa!! How dare I write that. That’s completely uncompassionate! Thoughtless. Inhuman…
I have no doubt that a quick read of my first paragraph – particularly in today’s politically charged environment – would have you believing I’m the worst of the worst. Who could possibly think that a global pandemic could be looked at as a time of opportunity?
But wait! I didn’t describe what the opportunity is. Opportunity is a neutral word till we attach results to it. So take a deep breath, cuddle up on the couch that you’ve been assigned to for anywhere from 48 hours to eight weeks, and walk down this list of some incredible opportunities we have in this very unique one of a kind moment.
Practice our humanity: It goes without saying that it’s heartbreaking to know we’ve lost and will continue to lose members of our communities. As such, we have an opportunity to show care to those who have experienced loss and anyone who is suffering due to this hardship. And yes, it can be done even within the constraints of social distancing. It’s been astounding to see our so-called “leaders” talk about those we’ve lost as simply numbers on a chart. We are human beings on the planet – let’s continue to treat each other that way – not like metrics or statistics trending on a graph.
The joy of family re-connection: Over the past three years, I’ve worked from home and have had the run of the house to myself. It’s been an unexpected but fun adjustment to have my wife working at home with me. Watching her work, I’ve learned more about how good she is at her job (not that I doubted it) and how tough her work can be. I recently spoke with a friend and colleague whose wife is at home with him and so are his two kids who had to head home from college. For you parents that have been whining that the kids never come home, enjoy it! You don’t even have to guilt them since they don’t have a choice. Make the most of this time to reconnect with your family. Play a board game. Cook a meal together. Just be together.
Beyond Facebook: Talk – really talk – to friends: I have something called the rule of 3 and it applies to texting. When I’m about to reply to a text conversation for the third time, I simply pick up the phone and call whoever I’m communicating with. They’re usually slightly shocked but then we do the unthinkable – we talk instead of text! This was so applicable yesterday when a Facebook friend from high school posted a picture of all the fun places we used to go to as kids. I saw comments from names I hadn’t thought of in years. For a few special moments of our day, we were taken away from COVID-19 to the happy days of our youth. It would have been even better if we all would have done a zoom call to chat! So, I’m going to go on record and say that I’m going to take this time to call some of those Facebook friends I never talk to. You should too. We’ve got time. We’re home. The worst that happens: you rekindle some great friendships.
Stay safe, and don’t miss these opportunities.