We are witnessing history. What started as news reports from China just a few months ago has now ultimately affected every way of life for individuals across the globe. This historical time is different than perhaps other significant moments we’ve witnessed in the last 75 years because of its global scale and the ability for us to receive news about it in an instant. I would argue that the last most significant worldwide event was World War II.
As a forty-year-old today, I, of course didn’t witness World War II. Instead, I’ve only listened with admiration to stories of people’s lives during that time in history. For example, my grandfather flying over France as a ball turret gunner or the simplicity of Americans getting their news through Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
When you’re witnessing history, sometimes it’s easy to latch on and connect yourself to a certain moment: what you were doing when the planes hit the twin towers, where you were when JFK was shot, etc. These stories are easily captured years after the moment with both ease and sorrow depending on your connection to the event.
The historical time we’re now witnessing is not going to be about a certain moment – it’s going to be a significant chapter of our life story. So, what’s going to be your story? What are my children going to share with their grandchildren about what life was like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Perhaps they’ll remember how we did every puzzle in our house, or how we watched the entire series of ‘Wonder Years’ on Hulu. Likely not. Instead, they’ll likely recall not going to school for months and how their dad temporarily had to close his businesses, causing our family to be cautiously conservative with our household expenses.
More importantly, I hope they remember a time of how we came together as a family and a community in ways they never witnessed before: balancing worry with empathy, caution with kindness and grace through perseverance.
So, I encourage each of us to ask ourselves: how do you want to remember this chapter of your life? It’s not too late to shape it in a way that is one for the history books.