As I write this, it is Sunday morning, April 19, 2020. My article is due tomorrow. No, I didn’t wait until the last minute to write this; I wanted it to be as current as possible before submitting it. At this moment, we – the town, county, and state, in which I live are entering our 4th week of sheltering-in-place. The country in which I live, the USA, along with the rest of the world, is experiencing a never-before-seen-in-our-lifetime-event.
We are in the middle of a pandemic of respiratory disease. You’d have to be well over 100 years old to remember the last time such an event occurred.
Historical chronicles are what inform us today. One hundred years from now, the same will be true. History will chronicle this period. And just what will the stories reveal?
This is a test
Not a graded test.
Not a pass/fail test, although perhaps it should be. This is a test of character, integrity, compassion, courage, resilience, humility, love. This is a test of our humanity. The results of this test will reveal to each of us whether we are who we think we are, who we want to be as individuals. The results of this test will be a direct reflection of what inspires us, what motivates us. What inspires us is a direct reflection of what we believe, what we believe about ourselves, about others, and our place and responsibility in the world.
While history will sum it up in 50 years or so and perhaps rewrite it to hide the blemishes and missteps, we can observe in real-time, the lessons being revealed today. We can discern what inspires the rhetoric, behavior, and policy actions of leaders, as well as ordinary citizens like you and me.
There is plenty to knit one’s brows together and form new frown lines over. But there’s a lot also to make you laugh, smile, or just shake your head in amazement.
I especially draw inspiration from the wonderfully creative ways people are using technology to bring people together to foster a sense of belonging and togetherness and to collaborate. A new normal is emerging out of things that were unthinkable just a few short months ago. Global concerts with all performances virtual from different parts of the globe without audiences. Hundreds of thousands of people dancing in their living rooms to a DJ streaming an impromptu playlist from his sheltered-in-place apartment.
In the past two weeks, I have attended a virtual happy hour, a virtual conference, two virtual whiteboard sessions, and a virtual lunch. In the next few days, I will facilitate a virtual roundtable and attend a virtual networking reception.
One of the learnings that have been confirmed for me is that I like new experiences. New information, new learning, new technology, and new ways of doing things. (As a point of contrast, I also keep stuff for a long time. My car is 11 years old, and so are some of my jeans)
I am excited about the possibilities that will emerge from this never-before-seen event. And while I know this too shall pass, in the meantime, I am continually inspired by the Genius of the Divine that resides in each of us, otherwise known as imagination.
It is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal, especially if we use it in conjunction with other skills and gifts. If we use it, our imagination will help us get through this test. Ideas and solutions on how to be of service to our neighbors without placing ourselves and our families in jeopardy are waiting to be brought forth. How to provide for those who are in need in ways that are not demeaning or dehumanizing.
How we regard the test of this time will reveal more about who we really are at our core. I hope your results are to your liking.
Until next time, remember,
Life is about choices.
What do you choose for you today?
Choose the results you desire and live toward them.
Enjoy the crossword puzzle.
It was fun creating it for you. Record your answers on a blank sheet of paper.
Deborah Gray-Young is the managing partner of D. Gray-Young, Inc. a sales marketing consulting and coaching firm providing strategic communications planning and training for marketers, agencies and media companies.
An ICF accredited coach, Deborah is the author of three books:
What Do They Mean When They Say…?”, Decoding Performance Evaluation Speak, YOU 3.0: A Guide to Overcoming Roadblocks for Professional Women of Color and The Young Professional’s Handbook, a primer for young people entering the professional workforce. All are available on Amazon and Kindle
Deborah is based in Chicago.
Follow her on LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/dgrayyoung/