Hidden in the uncertainty and fears of the public and the social isolation demands encouraged by the government, it’s too easy to lose sight of blessings that have emerged. May the hope and positive perspective provided contribute to your mental health and a constructive, optimistic attitude worth spreading.
Even a country as blessed and successful as America is still vulnerable in a way that can totally disrupt our comfortable world. But wakeup calls can be beneficial. They get us all off autopilot and force us to look at our own habits and needed changes to fight any crisis. A byproduct is an awareness of our many blessings—our country, our medical professionals, our caring communities, our private and public committed workers, and our family, friends and faith.
We are reminded again that one does not win over nature; one must adapt and unleash human ingenuity and teamwork to constructively respond to the problems that nature can create. Once again, the public sector is working with the private sector in a powerful way to combat the disease. They’re accelerating the use and availability of viable existing drugs and new drugs to meet this challenge where it matters most.
It is too easy to focus on the long lines, the citizens hoarding supplies, and those fighting over toilet paper. But more and more Americans are learning a lot about viruses and hand washing and social distancing. What doesn’t get the coverage are the numerous examples of neighbors helping neighbors. You see messages like this on social media: “Hi neighbors, I know this is an uncertain time so wanted to offer a helping hand. I’d be happy to run an errand for anyone who needs extra help. Don’t hesitate to message me below!” Her response prompted others to volunteer to do the same. You don’t force community; Americans earn it one good deed at a time.
With the state governments closing down non-essential businesses, theaters, and other public and private events, we’re left with a renewed appreciation for family. We are staying home, playing games, doing puzzles, talking around the dinner table, doing our necessary chores, walking in our neighborhoods, and, best of all, reconnecting. There is time to live out love, offer support, and encourage long-avoided dialogue.
There is a growing awareness for both individuals and our country that we need to be more prepared and self-sufficient. Nationally, globalization has its downside. We are far too dependent on other countries for critical goods. Depending on China for over 90% of our necessary antibiotic ingredients is a dependency we can’t afford. President Trump’s call for a rebirth in American manufacturing is now easier to embrace. “Made in America” may become an important rallying cry as our economy rebounds. While we are at it, Mormons are known for maintaining a ready supply of food to help during disasters. Don’t rush out to hoard, but, in the future, lets all do our part to be ready for disasters and to help as needed.
Disasters remind us that faith and prayer matter in America. Just as in any disaster, people are brought to their knees to find peace, God’s reassuring presence, and his enduring hope. Believers may not be able to meet to worship with current limits, but most churches are streaming worship on the Internet. Faith communities are bringing hope and help when and where it’s needed most.
President Trump has provided a calm, reassuring, hopeful and nonpartisan approach to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. He has sought out and listened to advice both on medical and public health issues and on how to mitigate the health and economic fallout from the virus. He has been the kind of leader that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty. Governors Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo have complimented and worked closely with the president. Congress is also acting in a non-partisan manner in producing real solutions.
Optimism is not based on Pollyanna thinking and false hope. Earned optimism that comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. America has survived and bounced back from wars, past virus attacks, depressions, stock market crashes, and a 9/11 terrorist attack. It’s remembering that history that helps us know America will bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
As Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” We’ve always been able to do that. We are a strong country with a resilient population ready to prove again that America has what it takes to endure and prosper. If you agree, let your attitude be contagious!
Let me end with a gift, a chance to hear the premier of Dr. Willie Jolley new song—"We’ll Get Through This!” It could very well become the rallying cry for our country to help through this crisis. May each of us do what we can to make it so. Spread hope and be ready and willing to help your neighbor.
Terry Paulson is PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream,andBecoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contacthim to speak before your firstname.lastname@example.org.