“Come on. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.”
I’m watching my baby make the transition to “toddler,” and it’s a bittersweet moment. No longer will she stay where she’s put. She’s going to start exploring the world, and that exploration will only speed up as time goes on.
This moment, this incredibly precious moment, is forever burned into my memory. We learn very early in life that when we fall, we try again. When we struggle, we try again. When we fail, we try again.
We rise up again.
In the grand scheme of things, simply standing up, or doing anything, would be so much easier than hunkering down, cutting most of our ties to human contact, and sitting around waiting for this crisis to be over.
Throughout this challenge we are all going through as individuals, as communities, and as a global population, we have seen the worst that humanity has to offer. We’ve seen the hoarding and the selfishness. We’ve seen anger and hatred.
But we have also seen glimpses of the amazing kindness, grace, and love that we all have to offer.
In an eye-opening interview with a former astronaut and flight leader for several key space missions, the interviewer asked how it was possible to survive in close quarters with other humans for weeks and months on end.
The answer was fairly simple, even if it wasn’t always easy in the moment. The astronaut said that the recipe for success was doing one random act of kindness for someone else every day. This practice formed deeper bonds, created more goodwill, and smoothed over any potential slights or issues that might appear in the day to day.
Was it perfect? No.
But it did create an experience that allowed each person to try and bring out their best and most human qualities of charity and goodness that make us who we are.
If “rise up” is too vague of an instruction, then resolve yourself to doing at least one random act of kindness daily for others. Better yet, why not journal that list of deeds so that you can look back on it one day far into the future and remember how you embraced your humanity in a time that tried to wrest it from you.
If you’re a rational thinker, Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls… [Y]et we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
If you’re more spiritual, James said in the New Testament, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial.”
Either way, the concept of struggle isn’t new or novel, but an essential component of the human experience. Let’s not just survive this thing. Let’s rise up and share kindness, charity, compassion, and love for our neighbors and communities.
I leave you with this: “Come on. You can do it. I know you can. I believe in you.”