But We Survived, and Became Stronger…

Brothers, you cannot turn on the television or radio any more and not hear about pandemic that is going on all around us. First and foremost, I ask that you take a moment to say a prayer for all of those who are directly impacted by this terrible virus – also remembering their friends and family – this will be an event that will live forever in their memories.

Please, also say a prayer for those who are continuing to work to provide for the rest of us – the doctors, nurses, first responders, truck drivers, factory workers, restaurant operators, store employees – the list is too long to include everybody – but we all know who these people are. The folks without whose dedication this world would quickly grind to a stop. This includes all of the doctors and researchers who are spending tireless hours attempting to find an approach to combat this invisible enemy.

For so many years we have been so involved in our day to day activities, we rarely if ever have stopped to ask the question – what if… What if we were forced to stay in our homes for weeks in due to an unseen threat? What if there were shortages of food? What if I could not find toilet paper? Two months ago these were foreign concepts to the majority of people. But you do not have to go back in history very far to realize that these were all too common concepts to our ancestors.

World War I – “The war to end all wars” was 1914-1918. Thought the fighting never reached our lands, the impacts were felt by all persons around the world. Immediately following in 1918 there was the Spanish Flu pandemic. These events directly impacted my grandparents and great-grandparents. But we as a country survived and became stronger.

The great depression – spanning 1929 through the late 1930’s – impacted both my parents and grandparents. Every day necessities were virtually impossible to find. Food of any kind was a precious commodity. There were bread lines and many people suffered suffered hunger and malnutrition. But we as a country survived and became stronger.

World War II again saw shortages in both every day commodities and employees to produce products. Factories were converted to produce materials to support the war effort. “Rosie the Riveter” became the heroine in the recruiting effort for female workers in the workplace. There were Civil Defense organizations and drills, paper drives, scrap drives, food rationing, etc. But as a country survived, and became stronger.

But enough about history – suffice it to say that we need to make sure we study the past – we need to learn from those lessons that our forefathers experienced. Armed with that knowledge, we can make better, well informed decisions on what we do to day.

Now – back to the present day. I find it so ironic that when you listen to a radio station we hear about how “hectic” life has become. Before the pandemic – to me, hectic was the new normal. It meant attempting to balance work, meals, groceries, laundry, and getting the kids to 20 different school / sport events in a single week.

Today – that has all changed. Work from home is the norm for a vast majority of the population. Adding to the stress of that – we are now in a position of homeschooling our children. Social distancing is becoming a way of life. Play dates are on hold and we are being asked to stay at home with the exception of essential travel.

Today was one of those “essential travel” days for me – I went out to get groceries. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection, the but thing that stood out to me the most was the people. More specifically, the expression on peoples faces. In many you saw fear, others loneliness, and some sheer exhaustion.

With everything going on in the world around us – there is one thing that I ask you all to remember – a smile is free! It is the original social distancing tool. You can be six feet or fifty feet apart, and the message sent by the simple act of smiling is received.

You may be asking yourself – what difference does a smile make? To the person that is in fear – it means hope. To a person who is alone – it means friendship. To a person who is exhausted – it means inspiration. To the country – it means that we are not giving up! It means that we will rally around each other no matter how dark things may be, and that humanity and compassion will prevail.

It means that as a country, we will survive and become stronger!

Stay SAFE Brothers!!