I was recently asked, “How is it possible to remain optimistic when the entire world is falling apart?”
My response is simple. “No, the entire world isn’t falling apart.”
I understand that many of us are frightened and that fear often brings out an exaggerated feeling of gloom and doom. Yes, depending upon our age and underlying health situations, we are all at risk, but if we willingly act with health officials, shelter in place, practice social distancing and wash our hands, we can dramatically cut our risk of contracting this virus.
If you defy all the guidelines designed to keep us safe, being optimistic is foolish. However, if you are willing to cooperate, you’ll potentially save lives ... and maybe your own. Think about the common sense of it all. If you shelter in place, and if you have the virus, you will not pass it to others. If you don’t have it, others cannot pass it to you.
The word contagion has taken on such a negative meeting and there’s not much we can find positive about this virus. But let me share a few other things that you can ‘catch.’
Kindness, patience, empathy, enthusiasm, love and optimism are also highly contagious. I not only hope you’ll catch these. I pray you’ll expose everyone you encounter and become a carrier.
And if you look for the positive, you’ll find it.
I believe as we come out the other side of this pandemic, we’ll be better people and see better government. I’m watching on the news as some Republicans and Democrats are working together, and even complimenting each other for their efforts. When was the last time that happened?
And yes, there are some hardliners out there shaking their fingers at the cameras and accusing others of inaction or even causing this current crisis. All I can say to them is “Shame on you!” Rather than pulling together to be part of the solution, they are using this sickness and death to try and achieve political gain. I hope we all remember who they are at the ballot box. They should be given no power, ever.
I’m seeing a great unmasking of so many problems that most Americans weren’t even aware existed.
Did you know most of our pharmaceuticals are manufactured in China? That’s a national security issue plain and simple. I believe now that citizens are aware, and we’ve experienced this pandemic, lawmakers will work quickly to bring the manufacturing of essential products for our health and security back into our country along with the jobs.
So yes, be optimistic! This is not the end of the world, but also remember the lessons we are learning. Americans have had a short memory in the past and it’s only been national tragedies such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11 that have indelibly burned the lessons into our minds. Let this pandemic and the lessons we learn be also forever engraved into our hearts and memory.
Can worry solve anything?
The obvious answer is no … but understanding that worrying solves nothing doesn’t necessarily keep us from worrying. I find comfort in ancient scripture as recounted by Matthew.
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”
So, when does it all end? I think the answer lies within us. If we are willing to make the sacrifices asked by health officials, I believe we can slow or even stop the wave of tragedy that may have otherwise killed millions.
Be vigilant. Cooperate. Be kind. If you have more than you need, share. If you are so inclined, pray for government leaders, health care workers and each other. If not, send out positive thoughts and let’s pull together, not apart. My prayer for you this week is that you remain healthy and safe, while also finding your peace. We are truly all in this as one nation and one world. Let’s fight this with all we have, and we’ll come out the other side together, a stronger world and better people.
Will you join me? I’m optimistic. How about you?