Have you found yourself grateful to hear about even the smallest stories of hope in the wake of this virus crisis? There is so much despair, but there are small victories happening all around us. For the first time in a long time, feel-good news headlines are going viral. They are a welcome relief as you scroll through the latest updates on COVID-19. As much as we need to stay informed, we also need word of the positive things happening and the kindness people are showing to one another. It helps us stay balanced, relieves stress and gives us hope. Many news outlets are recognizing that. In fact, a local newspaper in our area even had a plea asking anyone with a positive story to please submit it to them right away.
There are wonderful stories of those who made it through this virus. Particularly moving was the account of the 101-year-old man in Italy who survived the Spanish Flu, World War II, and now coronavirus! There are stories of ordinary folks spreading joy like the group of moms dressed up as dinosaurs bringing cookies to people's doorsteps. There are those on the front-lines who are coping with prayer and song who end up inspiring the entire world, like this Michigan nurse singing "Amazing Grace" to her exhausted co-workers. There are many many more and we discuss several of them in our latest episode. We all need to hear that to help revive our hope.
Did you notice that genuine gratitude is back in style? Every day, we see others taking time to thank all of the healthcare professionals, first responders, sanitation workers, grocery clerks, restaurants, neighbors, etc. They are risking their lives out there and asking us to give them a substantial gift: to simply stay home to keep them safe. Of course, that means things that were once mundane are taking on new meaning. Who knew that taking a walk around the neighborhood would be such a privilege? During these hard times, our appreciation levels are, surprisingly, rising by leaps and bounds.
This pandemic has caused some of the most extreme paradoxes. At a time when we are limited in our physical connections, virtual connections are on the rise in a way that actually brings closeness. For years, technology and the internet had gotten a bad reputation for keeping people apart. Now, we rely on virtual meetings, video chats, online church services, and even FaceTime doctor visits. What a twist that these technological devices have become our only lifeline to one another.
How will we make it through all of this? One thing that will help is taking time out each day to focus on the positive. If we seek, we will find remarkable examples of good deeds all over the world. There are people literally dying, but there are people who are living too. Take notice of the people who are continuing to donate to the food banks, to those sewing face masks, tying white ribbons around their trees or placing candles in their windowsills to offer light as healthcare workers come home. Rejoice every single time you hear of another patient returning home alive from the hospital after fighting COVID-19. Find joy when you see kids drawing inspiring messages with sidewalk chalk, when you hear glorious singing coming from balconies where people are quarantined, and when you watch the sharp rise in faith swelling worldwide.
In the end, hope is vital. Hope, love, and faith, that’s how we get through this. The 2010 movie Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has a beautiful quote that seems eerily relevant, “What’s the most resilient parasite…a bacteria, a virus?” No. “An idea…once an idea’s taken hold in the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate.” Just see for yourself and listen in as we plant the idea of hope into our brains, our hearts, and our world.
We dedicate this episode to all those who are doing their part to sustain life and hope and a sense of normalcy during such abnormal times. We thank all of you for taking the time to listen to our take on holding on to hope.