A few weeks back, my observations regarding the world around us relative to how people were reacting, became a pretty difficult and uneasy write for me. It felt as though, panic had set in for the very first time across the globe. The likes of which we had never experienced before. We’ve seen it portrayed in movies, but we never thought a pandemic might actually become a reality. If you have been sleeping through the previous four weeks…it has. Welcome to where the real fun is.
Regretfully since the post, I’ve also realized I had probably picked the worst time in humanity to launch a new book due to the fact I cannot tour, cannot shake hands, cannot get close to people to sign their books, and cannot take pictures with anyone who isn’t at least 6 feet away. My publishing company, editor, marketing, promotion folks, and event planners have been thrown for a loop. Who knew this might happen, certainly not me – or anyone for this matter. They say timing is everything right? Well…I have conceded to the concept of time not being on my side in this case. Mick Jagger and The Stones had it all wrong.
But… therein lies the really interesting twist here. I am absolutely fine with placing it all on hold. Tomorrow is another day, it will come eventually and play itself out in the way it was designed to. My book is about facing adversity after all. It is 247 pages of self-help content for people who may be facing some of life’s more difficult challenges. In this way, the timing is perfect. I can share a lot with folks during this troubling event. If the author of a book such as this one, cannot use the same model he prescribes during this challenge, then why even write a book on it?
Timing, fate, positivity, and perseverance need to be the real focus. Certainly not worrying about selling vast amounts of books. People are really hurting emotionally and financially right now, disposable income has all but dried up for most of us. Without work, there is no money. We are all in this together, and we are all seeking some form of contentment. For many, it is very elusive currently.
Each of us makes a choice when the sun comes up to shine some perspective on the next new day. We can stay in bed, curl into a ball and pretend nothing is real or…we can place both feet firmly on the hardwood, shake the cobwebs and hit the start button on making the best of things. Your choice, your day.
More and more people seem to be doing the latter. Many of which are using the new schedule of quarantine to actually give back. They consciously make an effort to share words, pictures, drawings, quotes, videos, lyrics, stories, riddles, puzzles, quizzes, anecdotes, and music with anyone who chooses to accept their gifts. None of these offers are extended with any type of condition. It is just what we do. Differences are placed aside too, we all are striving at the moment for extended healing, hope, and faith. We search everywhere to find them right now and force them from their hiding places.
People are practicing kindness for the first time in the long run because it is the right thing to do. A small gesture such as a few words of support extended to someone struggling to keep it emotionally together, from a complete stranger living in another country half-way around the world, is pretty damn powerful. I have seen it happen over and over again lately on social media platforms.
It makes no difference which one you follow, it’s prevalent absolutely everywhere. Sure, there will always be a portion of the population who choose not to accept what is being extended, their choice. For the rest of us, feel free to be a sponge and absorb as much as you can for as long as you need. And if and when it’s appropriate, become the catalyst to fill a few of the holes in someone else’s sponge.
Yesterday, I conversed with a woman in a country whose name I cannot even pronounce or even spell for that matter. Thankfully, she spoke broken English and it worked well for the two of us. I now have a new friend/follower, due to my 3-second gesture of simply posting a picture. She took comfort in it and reached out to me. Pretty damn special and pretty damn easy to brighten the light of an otherwise dimly lit bulb for someone. Try it, it feels awesome to help in such a simple poignant way.
Later on, I caught two younger guys sharing their musical talents on Instagram live. I watched them both on the split-screen one person on the top, the other on the bottom. Their names are Ryan Joyce and Zach Goor. I have zero ideas on how old they are or what their respective stories are. Only that I knew they were endeavoring to help, by taking turns playing their songs and welcoming personal requests. For younger people to take the time, effort, and energy to play music for anyone who may be willing to listen; in essence, places my entire day into the correct frame of perspective.
Adversity doesn’t consider your age, creed, sex, timing, or what else you may or may not have to go on in your life. It affects everyone when it wants to. But it doesn’t have to cripple you. Seek out your comfort, seek out your happy place, seek out your inner-peace wherever you can these days. Even if it is from two guys playing music, set up the living room of their respective homes in Anytown USA. Pretty damn cool boys, pretty damn cool.
But when you have people to stumble upon offering up their gifts as Ryan and Zach did for us last evening – the end result is inspiring. It is why I write each day, simply to take a persons’ mind away from reality , if only for a brief encounter. Someone is in a better place from receiving an unconditional gift (any gift), from any stranger tonight, anywhere in the world.
Each act makes for another wooden board being donated to the bridge currently being built, fervently connecting despair to hope. With each and every passing day during this crisis, the two sides are becoming closer and closer. Imagine where we could be as a society if the bridge is ever fully built…
Stay connected, stay safe, and stay positive.
And for Ryan and Zach, I’m glad we “met”.
This one is for you.