A dear friend of ours once said, “When chicken feathers are all you have, you have to turn it into chicken soup.” COVD-19 has left us with chicken feathers. For some, it might be the illness itself, the loss of a loved one, finances. For all of us though, there are many things we have taken for granted that we are reminded we should have cherished more. We long to hug those we love. In some cases, we just long to see their face. We thirst for fellowship with our friends and hunger for something outside our own kitchen.
The author, Robin Sharma stated, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” The good news is that we believe we are nearing the end of the hard part. If Sharma is right, we have quite a mess to clean up. However, there is a silver lining that is getting a little brighter every day—chicken soup if you may.
We won’t be going back to the way the things were. That is a good thing. What would the world be like if the Industrial Revolution never took place? Mass production and efficiencies would not exist.
What would the world be like if we never entered the Information Age? Computers would not exist. This current pandemic might look more like the 1918 Flu Pandemic that took between 20 and 50 million lives. Just think: We are on the brink of a vaccine to a virus that began only six months ago.
Now, we are entering a new age. It has been creeping into our lives for years. The only difference now is that COVD-19 has forced it upon us. It doesn’t have an official name, but it is here. In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink calls this the “Conceptual Age.” It calls for creativity, imagination, agility, and resilience. These are not at all bad things if you really think about it. In fact, you almost can’t wait to see what will happen.
And, wait! There is even better news. We are entering this age rooted in a deep foundation and appreciation for what is most important in life. These last couple months have been a time of reflection, faith, and family. We had become too far removed from the momentous principles on which our country was founded. The attack on our country on 9-11 was almost two decades ago and Pearl Harbor was almost eighty years ago. This attack on our country today has reminded us how blessed we are to be Americans. And because of this, we can get back to what it means to be an American. We can get back to what it means to pursue the American dream.
John F. Kennedy famously quoted, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” We have a patriotic duty to stay safe and help keep each other safe right now. We have a patriotic duty to keep our values front and center while we stare at fear in the face. We have a patriotic duty to not just survive, but thrive. We are Americans!
“I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how very little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection.” - Kaylene Johnson
When this started, we wrote about Admiral Stockdale and his amazing story of enduring torture over and over again as a prisoner of the Vietnam War. He stated,
“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
During his interview with Jim Collins, author of the book, Good to Great. He talked about those that didn’t make it out—the optimists:
“….they died of a broken heart…This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
It could be said that this “Stockdale Paradox” is what we are facing today. We will prevail in the end. After all, we are hard-headed, God-fearing Americans with The American Dream. At the same time, we can’t forget we are in a pandemic.
It is our sentiment that Americans will be the hard, headed, God-fearing Americans with The American Dream. The way we were will be no longer and this is for the better. There is something bigger and better that awaits us.
So, this leaves each of us with a choice. We can go through this crisis and in the best case, simply survive. Or, we can grow through this crisis and enter this new era ready. We can have a foundation that is rock-solid. We will know our priorities are set right. And, our minds will be open and willing see the greatest age we have ever seen unfold before our eyes.
Early into this pandemic, a dear friend said that he didn’t want to look aback at this time and regret anything. I am pretty sure he would agree that A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. What do you think?