Written by Steve Gandara
IS THERE ANY LIGHT IN THIS DARKNESS?
This morning I was able to connect on a video conference with a group of executives who I’ve been meeting with every two weeks for several years to share insights on leadership, lives, wisdom, faith and encouragement. This morning made me realize that with all the challenges taking place around us there seems to be a lot of good that’s beginning to happen as a result of the response to the recent pandemic virus-related government mandates.
This being the case, I thought it might be worthwhile to begin focus on some of the good that’s taking place right under our noses that we may not realize. Here’s a few areas that have become apparent to me that others might not realize yet.
Families Drawing Closer Together
In my own family of teens and young adults, I’ve realized that for the first time in years, we’ve all been able to have sit down together and have real meaningful communication and conversation at a time that wasn’t a holiday, birthday or special occasion, just a normal day. Many of my friends and colleagues have noticed the same thing. It was interesting that for some strange reason for the first time in years none of us brought our phones to the table and it took place unconsciously without anyone asking or policing. Could it be that these challenging times are actually causing us to value real meaningful face-to-face interaction instead of a world full of rapid-fire texting, posting and emailing as our primary form of communication?
Easy Acknowledgement of Gratitude as a Heartfelt Attitude
To me the best thing about having Thanksgiving as a national holiday is the time together around the table talking about what we’re grateful for. It also gives us an intentional reason to reach out to friends and family who can’t join us and share how we’re thankful for them. Regardless of how rough the challenge seems to be for any of us, we all seem to be able to turn on television or social media and immediately find someone else who’s experiencing so much worse than we are. So many are hurting so much more than most of us. In this season of challenge, I’ve decided to start replacing thoughts of my own woes with gratitude and thankfulness for the good things I’m able to enjoy instead of worrying about something awful that might happen but hasn’t. Also, to pray for those who have it worse off than I do; and there seems to be a lot who do! Why not be grateful for what good things we have like on Thanksgiving and practice mindfulness for others instead of worry in these challenging times. It’s amazing how much better we feel and how much hope takes place when we do.
Using Technology for Something Positive and Productive
With the business shutdowns and stay home orders, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other tech communication platforms are beginning to replace the in-person meetings that we used to enjoy. Just filling the space with something that’s causing progress or productivity seems to be good medicine in the challenging times. I’ve also noticed another positive phenomenon. The meetings that we used to have in person, take much less time online. Not only do we not need to travel to get there, if we focus on our intended, desired outcome, we spend less time discussing how awful the world seems to be around us. Also, with no sports or special events going on, have you noticed how there’s less small talk before the meetings. While we all love our sports, ballets, school plays and other entertainment or social gatherings, are we starting to realize how much effectiveness and valuable interpersonal communication we’ve missed by replacing what matters most with other activities?
Pass it On!
A good friend once shared a meaningful bit of wisdom with me that seems to be appropriate for this season. “IN TIMES LIKE THESE YOU CAN EITHER STAND STILL AND CURSE THE DARKNESS OR YOU CAN LIGHT A CANDLE.” Imagine what a difference we can make if all of us intentionally look to light just one candle for someone else every day! An encouraging word, a meaningful, thinking about you text or just look for something that gave you some peace or encouragement recently and do it for someone else.
If you begin to realize any other positive, productive or proactive phenomena that are coming out of all this chaos please do pass it on! God knows we can all benefit from more good news to fill our minds and hearts during this challenging season.