Everyone is getting tired of living in their virtual work worlds, and dealing with the pandemic. And yet, that is exactly what is being called for in the weeks ahead. How will we last? How can we go on like this? It’s tempting to get lost in feelings of endlessness. So, this is the time for courage.
Strength in the face of pain or grief is the very definition of courage. How do we get excited about that, here at the beginning of our week?
Think back on times when you have had courage. Let me tell you about one of mine.
I worked at the World Bank and was on the Internal Communications team that responded to 9/11 that fateful day in September of 2001. It was a grueling and frightening tragedy that left us all raw. Two weeks later there were about 10 minutes when the grid went down in downtown DC. We were all so traumatized everyone imagined it was another attack.
I was at lunch at the time, and my pager went off immediately. The message was clear, ‘Seth, you are needed.’ I watched as all the people came streaming out of the buildings in just minutes. All the elevators automatically went to the first floor and stopped, doors open. So, I walked up the nine flights to my office to be with the communications team. Everyone around me was saying, “It’s happening again,” their fear speaking.
As I walked up those nine long flights I knew where I belonged: at my desk coordinating the response to whatever was taking place. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. It later surprised me that I felt such undivided loyalty to my job. Was I scared while walking into a building everyone else was pouring out of? Yes, I was. But, my conscience called me forward unambiguously and I followed. For me, in my own way, that was courage.
By the way, it was not a terrorist attack and the grid was back up in minutes. We all breathed a sigh of relief and then went back to work.
So, let’s head into this week doing our best while we continue work in our virtual environments, and continue to don masks in public and wash hands all day long… all the while working hard to help our nation recover. May your mind be clear and your week be filled with new opportunities as a result.
“Courage is the enabling virtue for any philosopher, for any human being I think in the end.” – Cornel West