I woke up this morning with this phrase running through my mind. “Our humanity connects us, our dignity defines us.”
I am not really sure exactly why, but as we are all coping with the new normal in the world, these are the words that took over my thoughts last night. Not long before this whole pandemic started I had listened to a “TED Talk” podcast dealing with the world, climate change, Mother Earth, outer space, and taking care of our planet. The talk was fascinating, but one key element that was repeated frequently, and that I continue to refer back to is that we are all members of the human race. We may be Americans or Italians, African American or Caucasian, Muslim or Christian, green, blue or purple, but we are all existing on this one planet together. How we take care of that is what really matters, as we have to work together to create a healthy environment, without name-calling or finger-pointing. This is where our dignity comes into play. The importance of rising above to do what is right, helping those in need with an understanding that every life, no matter what social status or economic circumstance, on this planet matters.
In this very odd, weird, stressful, overwhelming time, don’t forget that you are strong, you are important, and you will prevail. We are all in the same place, we are all feeling frightened, confused, worried. But, fear only wins when you let it. And, even when we are unsure, the strength we hold in our heads and our hearts will defeat anything that challenges it.
Rise above, be kind, be grateful. Be appreciative of the time you have with those you love. Yes, we are all spending more time with our families than we really had ever expected to, but isn’t it a rare and special opportunity. I had said to Gary late last year that I missed him. Though we go to bed and wake up next to each other every day, our work schedules at the time were completely opposite. I worked very long days and nights, he worked every evening, neither one of us had much time off, and if we did it was usually to get on an airplane to go to do an event or take care of family needs. We have been on stay-in-place just a week here in Hawaii and our reconnection is incredible.
I have a nephew in his senior year of high school. Yes, I am very sad for him that he is missing so many fun “senior” events and opportunities, but as I continue to try to see the glass as half full, I remind my sister how precious this time is. She is enjoying moments with her son now that she will never have again as his college hopes will take him out of the house and far away.
I know it is not the normal you thought you would want to experience, but it is a time to look at your partner and your family and appreciate the connection you have. The time you are able to spend. If you are tired of your family, consider your pets. Any dog owner knows how much our pampered pooches are loving having us home. Yoda had never been happier.
And, as you look for ways to rise up, help those in need if you can.
We heard of an incredible charity that is helping North Texas hospitality workers help those in need. “Get Shift Done” is hiring out of work hospitality workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by putting them to work creating meals, bagging donations, and feeding families in need throughout North Texas through the North Texas Food Bank. People are able to work in professions they are proficient in, helping those that need it most.
There are others across the country doing similar work. A local food bank in Sonoma has started Sonoma Family Meal with the goal to cook over 100,000 meals in the next three months by putting 100 workers from 20 restaurants back to work. Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley has become a big supporter, looking to help their Sonoma neighbors, donating $150,000 to the Sonoma Family Meal Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund. Likewise, Feed The Fight has started in Washington DC providing meals to hospital workers on the front lines, feeding as they say “our local heroes.”
Something so smart, so simple, and so needed right now. A good thing to think about as we work through these very uncertain times.