It's rapidly become embedded in our popular lexicography (which is
to say in our colloquial speaking) that we live in
(quote unquote) "trying times" which comprise not one "whammy", not
a double whammy, but a triple whammy: a
trifecta of fractured politics (integrity), the 'rona, and
(in many western states) monstrous wildfires threatening life and
property. Our very
(on multiple fronts) is threatened. It's
"How can anything be so terrifying and so beautiful at the
same time?" ...
invoke conditions that befog this idea: the descriptor "trying
times" is an
Look: it's waaay easier distinguishing
yes? Make no error: distinguishing it's an
doesn't make it easy, go away, or even diminish significantly. But
it does illuminate two truths: one, the distinction
itself; two, our being
(cause in the
It fosters us dealing with
as expeditiously and as appropriately and as smartly and as
and as generously as we can muster.
Here's a tough conversation to consider (and an even tougher one to
have): that in the middle of any disaster (man-made or otherwise),
we always have a choice as to who we're going to
be in the
of said disaster. And no matter how hard that may be to take on,
it's true: we do have a choice, no matter the
no matter what the disaster (the direst of which notwithstanding).
And if you've already gotten clear that you do have that choice,
then it's your responsibility, your gift, your privilege to share
it with others. Remember while we may have a debatable choice over
themselves, there's always a choice as to who we'll be
in the face of any
Your assignment is to share that choice with those who don't realize
they have it. And that's what really makes a profound
difference (indeed, it may be the only thing that does).
A friend of mine has lived life in a way that's left him about as
impervious to the current triple-whammy as a person could be, with
preparation that's been pragmatic. There's nothing else left for
him to do to secure his own life. And he said to me
I wish I could do more to help other people", to which I responded
"You can.". "Like what?" he asked, "how?". "Be a
I offered, "be a
when you can. Set examples.
Be a leader.
Listen attentively. Listening transforms a helpless, hopeless
conversation into one of empowering empathy. Offer services. Offer
support. Even if your offers are declined, offer anyway. Never
underestimate the support it is to remind people of who they really
are, excepted of the
(that's the true
that empowers - indeed, that re-empowers - people).".