I was struck by the speech Queen Elizabeth made a few days ago to her country about this time we are living through: The COVID-19 war.
She said, “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge…and those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”
Toward the end of her speech she spoke about the world coming together and doing what can be done to defeat this common enemy, knowing that we succeeded in accomplishing this because we all joined in a global effort.
She also said, ““We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return…We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
You can access the video of her full speech and a New York Times article by clicking here.
Much has been said in our country about bravery, about fear, about people moving past fear to do their jobs. Our heroic hospital and healthcare workers showing us what a sense of duty to something greater than ourselves actually means today.
Stoicism and solidarity.
Unless or until we are in the thick of it, solidarity can seem quite quiet and even private. It is only when people are clapping or cheering for the helpers at a certain time every day that it becomes a shared experience of hope.
This is important because while news reports give us important information, headlines also trigger anxiety and it helps to remember you are not standing alone: neighbor in support of neighbor, family member in support of family member, communities in support of businesses and businesses in support of community.
Right now, we are in fact, finding togetherness even when alone.
I love the Queen’s speech because it recalled an earlier time when people were expected to use their self-discipline to reach a collective goal or to overcome a hardship. Back then we recognized the importance of our interdependence. Our survival depended on it.
My mother-in-law was a Londoner who came of age during WWII. There was no ego in doing what had to be done but there was pride in the doing.
She, as did many people of her generation, found herself in the thick of the unspeakable. Doing what she could to assist or survive.
For them, it was bombs or persecution. The enemy was quite loud and visible. For us, it is more silent and at times illusive, but we do know what it is.
We need to be sure that we use our wits, think of each other as well as ourselves, find the light at the end of the tunnel and, like the people of an earlier generation, never give up hope.
In short, we must build the muscles we need to thrive in an ever-changing world. This means not becoming our own enemy. Not submitting to apocalyptic thinking.
It is we who will decide what our world will look like going forward. It is we who will decide what kind of family, community, country we want to participate in.
While for a time we will be physically alone, we have the ability like never before to maintain connection and to make these decisions together.
It’s not that these ideas or ideals related to our collective power are new. But what is being highlighted now is that we must use those muscles–our collective strength–wholeheartedly and differently.
It can be as simple as having a good attitude rather than one of complaint. Taking our fears and turning them into courage to face another minute, hour, day, in uncertain and, at times, life threatening circumstances.
Now is the time to draw on the strength that has always been there, ready and waiting to be called into action.
Our creativity–our ability to think outside the box–will keep us focused on doing the best we can to make sure our businesses, jobs and relationships thrive. And choosing heart-opening ways to solve differences will help us succeed.
It will all make us more productive and stronger when this crisis is over.
We are seeing now that we have a readiness to do things differently and the capacity required for creating new solutions. There is always an answer when we believe in ourselves and in our collaborators.
In fact, belief in self and in our family members, friends, fellow workers and communities has always been the exact ingredients needed for accomplishing our most treasured dreams.
The Queen was correct: this virus and the weaknesses it has created or exposed, such as leadership, the economy, the environment and more, will be fixed globally. But only if we understand the lesson we’re being presented with; only if we come to truly understand and embrace working together.
This was only the fifth time in her 68-year reign that the Queen addressed her nation other than at Christmas. She reminded us that we are made of stronger stuff.
Let’s take heed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we can get to it–but only together.
Source and to purchase: Coronavirus Collective: Messages of Love, Light and Hope
by Jeffrey Holst, JIllian Sidoti, et al. | May 2, 2020
Please check out the other authors and topics on Amazon.
100% of the proceeds will be donated to a selection of charitable organizations that together are helping to feed the hungry, provide fresh water to the impoverished, protect the innocent from the devastating effects of human trafficking, and spread their message of hope and light to the world.