Do you see them?
I’m not talking about the side effects of the havoc wrought by COVID-19, aka the Coronavirus. Of course you’re seeing them; they’re easy to spot: the cancellations, the economic upheaval, the scarcity of toilet paper. Adultitis is at an all-time high, spurred on by fear and uncertainty the likes of which I haven’t experienced since 9/11, almost two decades ago.
I’m asking you to look a little more closely.
Do you see the helpers?
Fred Rogers is famous for saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Do you see them? The healthcare professionals who are tirelessly working overtime to tend to the sick and keep our communities as healthy as possible. The scientists laboring to bring tests to market and develop a vaccine. The private companies that are stepping up to pool their resources and expertise to serve the common good.
These examples, along with the countless stories of everyday people making a difference is beautiful and inspiring. But in order to see them, you have to look past the alarmingly high numbers of despicable media professionals and politicians who insist on being divisive in a time where unity is needed.
When you look in the mirror, dear reader, do you see a helper?
But now I challenge you to look closer still. You may have to squint. Look for the opportunities.
None of us want this to be happening. But it is. Wishing that it didn’t, pretending that it isn’t, and worrying about what we don’t yet know is not helping anyone. What is productive, however, is looking for opportunities.
Now that this has happened, what does this make possible?
In 1665, the University of Cambridge temporarily closed due to the bubonic plague. Isaac Newton had to work from home, and he used this time to develop calculus and the theory of gravity.
I’m no Isaac Newton, but I can follow his lead. What good things can come from this crisis? If you’re like many people, who suddenly have a lot more time on their hands, what will you do with it? Perhaps you will be spending more time with your family than usual in the next few weeks. How will you use it to make good memories and grow closer together? The possibilities are endless; I just hope you don’t waste it watching the news or scrolling on social media.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not asking you to live in denial and pretend all the negative aspects of this crisis aren’t real. They are. I’m merely asking you to look for the opportunities, which are just as real.
The people who see silver linings are the ones looking for them.
This is exactly what I wrote in my book, “A Chance of Awesome: How Changing the Way You See Changes Everything.” It came out last summer, but I’m starting to see a bigger reason this book needed to come into the world when it did. Perhaps it was written for such a time as this. It offers reminders we all need to hear and contains a crucial message of hope. It can be a great help for people who want to get better at seeing the upsides of all this upheaval.
That’s why, starting today, we are giving the book away, for free. You can download it right here. Please, share it with friends. And if you’d like the hardcover, full-color printed version, we’re offering it at a 50% discount through the end of March, no coupon code needed.
Meanwhile, if you aren’t already involved, I invite you to join the Escape Adulthood League. It’s also free, and is an inspiring place to hang out with other Adultitis Fighters, and free from the poison and politics you’ll find on so many social media platforms today.
This will pass. We will get through it. The question is, what will you do now so that years from now, you’ll have the opportunity to say, “Wow, this never would’ve have happened if it wasn’t for that whole coronavirus thing…”