The Choice You Make In This Moment Matters

You have the choice to step into your fear and the fray, doing your part, making whatever difference you might make, or shrink in the face of adversity, withdrawing, withholding, and waiting things out.

You can decide to go forward despite the unimaginable challenge facing you (and us), pushing through and making whatever adjustments necessary to set things right. But you can also decide to go backward, retreating, seeking shelter from the present storm, one that won’t soon abate.

Some will decide to no longer live a life that is less than they want from themselves, taking action to create one that is in line with their vision, living with and leaving no regrets. More will not recognize the opportunity to use this time to reset and start anew, going themselves no better on the other side, missing the chance to transform. Who could blame you for running off and opening an independent bookstore now?

The current events are going to hold meaning to those who live through them. A few will derive a compelling purpose, having dealt directly with the chaos cast upon them, taming it, and creating order. Many more will ascribe a meaning that is disempowering, deciding to carry this crisis into the future with them even after it is gone. Life will never be the same, but you get to determine how it is different.

There is the potential to thrive in difficult times, but to do so, you have to help other people to do the same. You can also choose to survive, paying more attention to your current state, and seeing scarcity where others see abundance. Each of us decides for ourselves whether we wish to thrive or survive.

This time is either an ending or a beginning. It can represent a line of demarcation, the beginning of something new and powerful. Or it can be the end of the line, a dead-end, the ceasing of what was good, replaced by only what is bad.

Much will be lost. Much has already been lost. But the individual choice you have to make is between focusing on what is lost or what you still have.

You are still here. You still have a future, and the opportunity to reclaim what was lost or something even better. Better for you, and better for other people.

Many years from now, a child may ask you what you did during the Great Pandemic of 2020. You don’t want to offer the answer that you spent your time on Facebook arguing with people and complaining about how things were. It’s possible to have a better answer, one that the young child asking the question might later recognize as being valuable as an example as to how to live a life, one that, from time to time, is full of horrors beyond anything you might have imagined.

You might tell the young, curious child that you lived your life. You made decisions to engage with this crisis and did everything necessary to carve order out of chaos, making things right where and when you could. You might talk about how you didn’t shrink, hiding from it, sharing how many people played some role in doing what humans have always done, ruthlessly persisted, exercising their resourcefulness to solve problems old and new.

You can’t wish this time away. No people have ever had the power to do that. The only control we have ever possessed is the power to choose to fight whatever battle shows up during our time, no matter how foul the foe, how vicious the virus, or how frightening the circumstances.

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