Hope in Dark Times
Sam Burnham, Curator
It is easy to get down in times of isolation and fear. The loss of friends and loved ones can make matters worse. Traditions, routines, and the normal course of daily life have all been completely disrupted. People rely on social networks not just for personal preferences but because they need such safety nets to help navigate depression, addiction, despair.
If you are finding yourself in despair, frustrated, depressed, or despondent, you might be by yourself right now, but you aren’t alone. Your situation is not even rare. It’s normal to feel the way you do.
What you can’t do is quit. Don’t give up on life. Don’t give up on sobriety. Don’t give up on this world. This misery will end. We will make it through.
It will be important moving forward that we think about the world we want to live in. Making people, relationships, and humanity a priority will build one sort of world. Merely rebuilding an economy based on stock markets, big businesses, cheap imports, and spreadsheets will build another sort of world.
The way I opened this article should make us all think. Building an economy of people will help us build a better world. When a few weeks of quarantine can put large swaths of the population at risk of relapse or even suicide, we need to wake up.
We have tremendous hope for the future. But we’re more likely to emerge sluggish than we are to come out in a sprint. People will be hurting, money will be tight, and local businesses will be struggling and in need of patronage. The best way to save this economy AND people is to build small, to build steady, to grow like a tree, not like a fire.
We need to make wise decisions about who we do business with. Supporting the enterprise of our friends and neighbors builds our local economies. Building the local economy creates more opportunities and therefore more hope for people. That is the way to build more financial strength for our communities and therefore ourselves. We benefit financially by being thoughtful toward others. It’s a concept that leadership specialist Bob Buford called altruistic selfishness. By helping others we really help ourselves.
Most importantly, people matter. That means you matter. Consider the value of someone around you today. Maintain a safe distance but make sure to care about someone today. And make sure to take care of yourself today.
Just some food for thought from a socially distant undisclosed location in the Southern highlands. Y’all stay safe out there.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire