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7

MAY / JUNE Issue

Even with a mixed bag of headaches and

blessings that skews positive for some,

the uncertainty itself is a point of stress

for a lot of people, some of whom are far

more eager to return to normal than to

wax philosophical about changing what

“normal” ought to be.

But there’s some comfort to be found in

history: While things can certainly feel

frustrating in the moment – and in the

midst of disruption can seem to be going

on forever – no epidemic lasts forever.

They all end eventually, even the biggest

and the worst.

When it comes to the American economy,

the best metaphor I’ve come across is

that of a beach ball being held just below

the surface of the water in a swimming

pool: The harder you push it down, the

harder it will pop up out of the water the

moment you release it.

I truly believe that when this is over, those

who are talking about the pandemic like

it’s the end of days are going to find

themselves feeling very foolish. This is

not the kind of scenario that should send

people into basements and bunkers

to ride out their apocalypse with their

stockpiles of toilet paper.

This is not an apocalyptic disruption.

All the grocery stores are open, for

goodness sake. Historically speaking,

all things considered, it’s not even that

big of a disruption. What the response

should entail is patience, kindness, and

a willingness to help others – especially if

you’ve got more than plenty.

When the disruption ends – and it will,

even if it takes months – people you know

will look back on this time and remember

how you behaved.

Were you the guy who fought, Black

Friday style, over the last pack of Ramen

noodles, elbowing a little old lady and a

woman with a toddler out of your way?

Were you the guy who got online and

told all your social media friends that they

were stupid and not worth saving in the

coming societal meltdown? I sure hope

not.

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BEFORE

AFTER

©Richwood2019

The country and the economy will be

fine. But will you be fine in the eyes of

the people who will remember whether

you were kind or unkind in the throes of

pandemic-induced stress? I hope so.

As the Great Pause gives us all a chance

to think intentionally about our world, our

lives, and how we’d like them to be, let it

prompt you to consider what will resonate

in your life and the lives of others going

forward, after it ends.

No doubt we’re all eager to pursue our

regular activities. I’d love to go for a

walk on a public trail without having to

wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from

everyone. It would be great if I could plan

a trip with the confidence that the things

I schedule will actually happen. Mining

People is certainly looking forward to

getting back to business as usual.

But meanwhile, be sure to appreciate

the pause! That beach-ball moment

is coming, and when it does, you’re

probably going to be busy.