We NEED people. It’s a fact. We are built for community, and connection, and intimacy. There is a reason that ancient civilizations and tribes around the world used BANISHMENT as a form of capital punishment!
We can’t survive this life, much less this period in history, without the help and support of others.
And I know you’re scared.
You’re feeling trapped.
You’re certain of nothing.
You’re grasping for the right information.
You’re unsure…unsure if you’ve got what it takes to get through this.
The crazy thing is, what will help all of us the MOST right now…each other…is what’s being kept from us!
We need each other more than ever…but we can’t always see them face to face right now. We can’t always give them a hug. Can’t always “reach out and touch someone.”
But don’t forget that for all the social distancing in the world, we ARE still connected!
Sure, I’m the first to say that online isn’t the same as in-person. And it’s not. But it might be all we’ve got temporarily.
So as you are looking around over the next couple weeks or months…I wanted to share some suggestions of the people to make sure you reach out to and pay attention to. There will definitely be a “tightening” of social circles…but if you don’t lose grasp of THESE individuals you will find yourself standing stronger than ever when the floodgates of hugs and awkward physical encounters resumes. These are people that I will be holding onto and I hope you do too! So here are MY “must have people” right now…
#1: My God
I don’t really care your level of “spirituality”, how long it’s been, how firm and grounded you feel in your faith or whether or not you “believe in that stuff”. I can tell you this. He is very real, He is very present, and there is no other that will protect and guide you the way He does. Lean into Him, pick up the Bible you haven’t read in years, talk to Him, ask Him questions…you may just get more answers than you expect. They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Thankfully our “distancing” involves more Netflix than machine gun fire, but don’t miss out on an opportunity to reconnect or connect with Him on a deeper level than ever before.
#2: My Family
I’ll go ahead and say it…I actually LIKE being around my family! The amount of quality time we will be spending together is something I actually AM looking forward to! Not being forced to go to work or school or errands or wherever will give us some much needed time to just BE TOGETHER. And if that’s NOT you right now? IF you’re wondering how you will survive? Use this time to get back to that. Reconnect with your wife, play with your kids, talk with your husband.
#3: My Creative Visionaries
It can be tempting to get lost in the urgent and immediate. DON’T lose sight of the fact that there WILL be an end to this. There IS a future! It’s one thing that actually comes naturally to me, but I make a point to have people around me that push me in that way. Have people that you can listen to or reach out to that will help keep your eyes on the horizon! It’s during these times that the great ideas and inventions and discoveries and works of literature and opportunities of finance and so much more happen. We CAN thrive in the midst of seeming chaos, not just survive!
#4: My Cautious Planners
Ok, so I MAY be more prone to say “ahhhh, it’ll be fine” when the proverbial poop hits the proverbial fan…so I need people around me to say “Hey you should prob have more than a box of pop-tarts and some koolaid in the fridge right about now…”! This might be you…you might be the one shaking your head at me from afar. If that’s the case, YOU should be hanging with people like ME so we both stay alive and NOT depressed! But in all seriousness, there is a very real need for caution and preparation. Have these people close by!
#5: The Examples
There are people in your life, whether a next door neighbor or an online mentor, that have been through the valley before and have come out the other side. There is a REASON that they are where they are now! There are people that are NOT panicked, they are prepared, they are going to be just fine. Watch them! Emulate them! How are the responding? What are they doing? What’s their mindset? What language do they use? Those people are the ones that know/do 2 things. They KNOW they will get through this and they DO what will set them up for success on the OTHER side of disaster.
#6: Those in Need
Please don’t lose sight that for all the struggles and inconveniences you and I are going through, as real as they are, pale in comparison to what some are going through in our communities and cities. Don’t wait for them to ask either…seek them out. LOOK for people to help and serve! Washing your hands isn’t simple for the homeless. Working from home isn’t simple for all businesses. Stocking up on weeks of food isn’t simple for those living paycheck to paycheck. Even if YOUR industry will be fine, those in travel and entertainment and sports and restaurants and SO many more are seeing a much harder road ahead of them. This is a time where compassion is needed. Kindness. Generosity. Grace. People are hurting. Help them.
I was telling someone recently that this is a period of time that I and my family will remember FOREVER. We have truly never seen something like this in our country in my lifetime. But we can CHOOSE how we view it, the words we use to describe it, and the people we stay connected with. Let’s choose wisely, shall we?