By Njeri Muchunu
It all happened in an instant. One moment, you were happily living your life and the next it feels like the ground beneath you has disappeared. No one is immune to adversity, and yet it’s human nature that we rarely give much thought to our ability to cope with a serious problem until we are actually faced with one.
In challenging times, one must question the accepted reality. In this season of the corona-virus pandemic, our world is learning more each day how connected we are to each other. It is exposing the absurdity of our fragile economic systems and the shortcomings of our health care systems. We are not independent beings and nations but interdependent. Everything is interconnected. This virus is doing more to expose the hidden truths of life than all the politicians gathered together and debating.
So, how do we make it in these times of crisis? What do we do to ensure we come out on the other side stronger and better?
Challenges bring opportunities. The good news is that since we are faced with so many challenges in the world right now, there are also many opportunities available to us if we choose to listen, sense and feel beneath the surface. Words that have been attributed to Winston Churchill come to mind: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Not letting a crisis go to waste means paying attention to all the signals around us and within us – signals that are trying to show us a path forward and open new doors of possibility. In order to notice the signals and perceive the messages, we must first open ourselves.
We are facing critical choice points. What we create will, in turn, create us.
In light of this, who do we wish to become? What is the legacy that your choices, actions, and policies are creating?
I am fully convinced that the main strategy for success in this world was given to us by the greatest leader who ever lived – Jesus Christ. He said to us that we should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. How many of us can honestly say that they have been seeking God diligently and asking Him what He would have us do during these trying times? How many of us have taken the time to ask God why He created you and why you are here? How many of us have taken the time to ask God why all this is happening? It seems to me like we are spending all our time glued to our television screens and social media as we await the next forwarded message telling us how grim our situation is. It is bad, I agree, but I believe if all of us sought God on what is happening, in truth and in Spirit, and how He would wish for us to respond to it, we would have already come up with some answers. Actually, perhaps even this disease that is spreading so fast would not have happened in the first place.
As 2019 ended, many of us said that it was a difficult year and we were happy to see it end and excited to have a fresh new start. Who knew, except God, that 2020 would be a game changer for the entire world? I have seen people on social media take back their comments about 2019 and wish it back. However, that is not how we should view what is happening. Yes, it is a difficult time for all of us, but it is a time for change. It is a time for us to start thinking differently. It is a time for the entire world to sit and reflect on their lives. We should be asking ourselves pertinent questions like – what is the meaning of life? What have I done or what have I been doing with the life that has been given to me by the Maker? Have I made a difference or am I just concerned with amassing wealth for myself and my family – a good home, good schools for the kids etc? Do you have the confidence that you will make it beyond this season and if so, will you be different on theinside more than on the outside?
Someone who reminded me of the good that can come from crisis is professional dancer Ashleigh Dilello. At 13, Dillello was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease that caused her chronic pain and rapid weight gain. Although Dilello could have let it get her down, she used her diagnosis to step up. “Our brain’s primary purpose is to keep us safe, and one way it does so is by feeding our fear of failure,” she said “If I hadn’t repeatedly challenged my own brain’s limiting beliefs, I never would have survived my health crisis.“
Just as Dilello’s illness helped her see her own strength, the virus will shake things up in ways we can’t yet see. Everyday people will do extraordinary things. Small businesses will make big impacts in their communities. It’s all about seeing the silver lining. Crisis’ bring out the good in people as well as the bad. Leaders must remember their role: It’s not to turn a profit; it’s to get the whole community rowing in the right direction. Transformational leaders know what an enormous responsibility that is.
In the end, it is the legacy that you leave behind that will matter.
Let me leave you with some activity you can embark on right away.
- Look in the mirror and touch your heart with your hand. What do you want more of in your life? What do you want less of? Now is the time to consider the changes you want to make in your life.
- What are you protecting or afraid of losing? On the other hand, what would you like to share even more generously?
As always, we are here for you to lift you up and remind you that your best days are yet to come. That said, focus your eyes on the things that will never pass away.
The author is a leadership curator