Hard Times (and hope)
Hard times are here.
(I’m still optimistic, though; I’ll explain why at the end.)
People are dying, running for their lives, and watching everything they’ve worked for go up in literal flames.
And, because of technology, we’ve got a front-row seat in real time.
Energy prices are spiking, markets are melting down.
Oh yeah, there’s still a pandemic.
On top of whatever personal stuff we have going on, that might pale next to the suffering of war but is still our burden to carry.
Sometimes, it’s just one thing after another and everything all at once.
What do we do? How do we deal with it?
I think it depends on the day.
Some days, we’re overwhelmed and struggle to make progress.
Other days we press on and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Some of us look to our faith for guidance.
We also remember that humans are resilient creatures who have survived and thrived through some terrible times.
We remember that we’re not alone.
You’re not alone. I’m not alone. They’re not alone.
We reach out for help on our bad days and offer support on our good days.
We volunteer, donate, speak up, and take action.
There’s a quote by Mr. Rogers that often shows up during crises:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
As adults, we’ve got a greater burden to carry—we must become the helpers.
I think the secret to getting through is kindness and love.
If we look closely, we can find it happening right now:
- Volunteers leaving strollers for Ukrainian families who will need them when they arrive in Poland and Slovakia. 1
- Residents of a refugee camp throwing a birthday party for a 7-year-old girl. 2
- Berliners welcoming refugees in train stations and opening their homes. 3
- Groups greeting Afghan refugees with open arms and housewarming gifts in Detroit. 4
In the midst of everything, we can offer each other kindness, encouragement, and support.
Hoping for peace,
P.S. Looking for ways to help Ukrainians? Here are a few.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
– Desmond Tutu