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Being kind at root of tackling insurmountable obstacles

Being kind at root of tackling insurmountable obstacles Being kind at root of tackling insurmountable obstacles

It seems to be the perfect storm: a viral pandemic, an economic downturn, racial tensions and concerns with cybersecurity. Even as I write this column, I am plagued with the complexities of a new format on my computer. Now all the apps and prompts are foreign to me. My head is pounding, and I feel like throwing in the towel.

If we were to produce a series made for TV in the future and depict the conditions at this time, viewers would say, “It is not realistic.” But, we today know it is real and we stand bewildered as to how to cope, let alone flourish.

Watching and reading the news this June 6 is depressing: 36,579 of our fellow Indiana citizens have suffered with a virus we do not understand and 2,078 have lost their lives in the battle. Our May unemployment rate stands at 13.3%. In our state capital of Indianapolis, many of our businesses are closed due to the quarantine from the novel coronavirus, and now the riots and resulting curfews are enforced at night. Statistics show us it is lower income and minority populations that have been hit the hardest. Worldwide, there is protesting in the streets against racial injustice and inequalities in opportunities.

Many of you have “Zoom’d” in on your computers to do business and talk to family and friends, but that isn’t the same as shaking hands or looking someone in the eyes while standing shoulder to shoulder. No wonder I am increasingly receiving phone calls from folks who are living alone, sheltering in place by themselves for weeks. We need each other.

We struggle to find the right mindset from which to evaluate the situation in order to make decisions and take action. Our distress, anger and grief are real and need to be acknowledged. These are historically disturbing times.

In these darkest moments, there are voices that pit American against American. Do not let them cloud your mind and heart. This country has overcome horrific obstacles before. Take heed of the acts of kindness by people of all ages, lifestyles and races. There are thousands of peaceful citizens crowding our streets in response to police violence. Don’t let the invading and destructive rioters smash the windows of your optimism about the future of our communities. Look for inspiring leaders who are seriously knowledgeable.

My daughter sent me a protective face mask to wear in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In big letters across the mask is written “BE KIND”.  In the midst of what appears to be insurmountable obstacles is the basic human standard to “be kind.” All else must start there.

Let’s tackle what only we as individuals can change: our attitudes about ourselves and our role in this complex world. I personally do not think God put me here on this earth to sit back and watch history go by.

Follow not leaders who blame everyone else for the ills of the world. Our federal government is a disappointment to me. I hear decisions and see actions that are not of the kind of governance that grows a healthy democracy.

We Americans are good people; however, we can do better.

How we weather this challenging time will determine if we still stand as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”