During the coronavirus crisis, there has understandably been so much focus on loss. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have lost their lives. We’ve endured financial loss, emotional loss, educational loss. And, we have all lost the security of what tomorrow will bring, along with any sense of normalcy.
As we approach a new chapter in this surreal journey, and our children go back to school, I have to be honest: it’s hard to not focus on the loss that continues. We all have varying opinions about how this school thing should look, and many of us are so torn in the middle that it seems impossible that any option could possibly work well for our kids and their teachers. On the surface, this upcoming school year simply exemplifies more loss.
But, you know what I’ve realized? I can’t move my family forward if I solely focus on is what we’ve lost.
I just can’t.
A few months ago, I wrote a post about my fear about going back to “normal” post-Covid. For those who aren’t familiar, my post was an acknowledgement of all the sliver linings in the midst of this difficult time. For me, the simplicity and slower pace of our pandemic existence has in many ways brought “life” to my family and clarity to my cluttered head. Yet, nearly five months in, to suggest that we shouldn’t return to normal seems counter intuitive. Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t be tempted to take any day in January over where we are now?
But, that’s not an option. And, honestly, I still don’t believe we were entirely better off then, even with the normalcy that existed in our lives.
Instead of dwelling on the loss, that’s why I’ve started to ask myself what my children may actually be gaining in the middle of this pandemic. And, the answer is clear:
The ability to adapt, even in under the most difficult circumstances.
I could go on…
I often reflect on previous generations. Our grandparents lived during some of the most difficult periods in our history – world wars, the Great Depression, segregation. And, somehow they thrived during times in which nothing was simply handed to them. They are the original “Greatest Generation” not because they learned to adapt to air-conditioned home offices with iPhones in hand, but because they persevered under conditions that our 21st century brains can’t even comprehend. They had no choice. And, “entitlement” wasn’t even a part of their vocabulary. They held their heads high, raising their children and working unimaginably hard to make the world around them a better place.
Our children become the next “Greatest Generation” because of Covid? The potential is there. But, our kids aren’t going to get there if their moms and dads continue to swim in a pool of sadness, anger, and fear. It’s also not going to happen if we expend all of our energy arguing about masks, and schools, and the political landscape surrounding this virus.
It is time to shift our perspectives right now.
Our children may become wildly successful because they had to face adversity head on. They may grow into better adults because things didn’t come easily, and they had no choice but to creatively problem-solve. They may actually thrive because they had no choice. I get chills when I think about the depth of character that may be developed in this generation BECAUSE of what’s been so difficult.
Friends, please hear me. It starts with us. We set the tone. We are obligated to instill our kids a sense of what they are made of. It is our job to focus on what’s possible instead of what we’ve lost. It’s time to consider the power that exists with a change of perspective.
We owe it to the next “Greatest Generation” we may very well be raising.