The other day one of my friends, an educational leader in Michigan, asked me how I was doing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. I responded that I was doing well overall but that I wasn’t feeling very creative and that bummed me out. I asked her how she was doing and she responded that she had lost family and friends to the virus but that she was hanging in there. Boy, did I feel like a schmuck. Bemoaning my lack of creativity while she was mourning the loss of loved ones. It was an embarrassing but helpful reality check.
I have not lost loved ones to the Coronavirus and I don’t take that for granted, not for one minute.
I am an educator and I want nothing more that to be back together in our building with our school community in the fall. If continuing to make sacrifices now can make that more likely, I am willing to do that. But, I realize that I am saying this from the comfort of my own home while continuing to do my job remotely. And, when it comes to this crisis, there are a lot of things I am not.
I am not a doctor who prays desperately not to have to Facetime one more wife as her husband passes away.
I am not a small business owner scared to death that the company I built with my blood, sweat and tears won’t be able to recover.
I am not a scientist. I don’t know the answers on how to slow the spread.
I have not lost my job and I am not worried how to put the next meal on the table.
I am not a politician. I don’t know how to balance saving lives and restarting the economy.
I am not a frontline worker who has been living separate from family for months for fear of exposing them to the virus.
I do love people. So much. I know that everyone is doing the best they can given their own circumstances.
I choose to follow the rules because I don’t know better than experts and I don’t want my dad or grandpa to get the virus. Well, I don’t want anyone to get it, but especially not them.
I choose not to insult our leaders because I am a role-model. And, it’s just not nice. And, again, I don’t know better than them.
Overall, I choose love and life and hope. Because I know that when we uplift each other, when we wish good things for all people, when we choose to empathize even when we disagree, we can overcome just about anything. Together we are so very strong.
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