“We will either find a way, or make one.”
Hannibal (Carthaginian general, 247-181 BC)
Good morning, friends. These are serious times and your time is not to be wasted today, so let me get to it.
Has anyone ever experienced anything like these days? Not me. Pieces, perhaps, but nothing in the totality. Measles, chicken pox, and mumps were all the rage when I was a child. I had the pox, as I remember, and had to be isolated from school for a week or so. Friends did, too. After 9/11 air travel was risky, so the skies were empty for a week or four. But what we’re dealing with now is wholly different.
From my perspective, the real challenges of these days have little to do with the outbreak of a virus or even the leadership abilities of authorities. The master challenge, to my understanding, is fear. How do we manage our fears, appropriate them, and overcome them? Sadly, I see fear running rampant in our culture these years, and birthed by it plenty of hatred, anger, resignations, power plays, and more. Societies don’t typically thrive on the fuel of fear, yet here we are fully in the grips of it. What do we do?
Some of the best change agents I’ve studied have taught me that systems have limited capacities to manage change at any moment. It’s like a juggler; he/she can add a new ball, bowling pin, or chainsaw to the act but only one at a time. So too it is with change. We need time to adjust. And these days we just don’t have that luxury. Ten chainsaws have been tossed into our routine at once and we’re desperately scrambling to adjust. It is so in my home, in my work, in my community, and everywhere. What do we do?
I find in times of trouble a helpful effort is to focus, deeply, on more important values. Faith. Confidence. Courage. Peace. Love. Forgiveness. I find it a time to concentrate, deeply, on my better angels, to remind myself consistently of higher matters. And though we cannot see much beyond the end our noses in this fog of fear we will indeed find our way, or make one. What matters is the way we find, or make. May it be of our best, even in the seemingly worst of times.
Be at peace these days, friends, and remember that you are loved, remembered, and valued.