It is okay to endeavor to be kind. You see, I don’t believe that any one person, organization or government should dictate morality. There is no possible way that any institution or group of people can mandate what you value and how you act towards others. How you treat others and how you choose to move forward is completely yours. All of us, in some shape or form, have been impacted negatively by the pandemic. Some have lost loved ones. Some have lost money. And all of us have lost a year of personal growth.
The fact that we all share in the current adversity is also a chance for us to share in our collective growth. We can make the choice to rekindle the values that really matter and we can grow from that.
This is our chance to let go of the false idols that have dominated our culture and embrace a value system that comes from our hearts. Hate and venom do us no good. The toxicity level emanating from the voices hiding behind digital screens—as well as the political, social, and economic unrest—has beaten us all down. Being locked down physically is one thing, but being waterboarded with negativity from all directions is downright ugly.
This is our chance to ignore those that spend time tearing others down and focus on the good in people and a spirit of joy. I can see that so many of us have had enough of all this hate and fear. Life is meant to be an adventure and we were built to embrace risk. In other words, we were built for constant personal growth and it is time to get back at it.
I recently read this great analogy that we can all use to push forward. There was a young boy who found a butterfly chrysalis. Every now and then, the boy visited the chrysalis to take a look at how it grew, until one day a small crack appeared—the butterfly was slowly coming to life. The boy watched the butterfly struggle for hours, trying to force its body through the little hole. But, the butterfly suddenly seemed to stop. It was no longer moving or trying to make its way out of the chrysalis. The boy felt the need to help, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped the chrysalis open to free the butterfly.
The butterfly started crawling out but something was off. It started walking, but couldn’t seem to take off. The boy kept watching, hoping that, at any moment, the wings would expand and the butterfly would shoot up to the sky. But it never happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling and was never able to fly. What the boy in his kindness failed to see was the natural evolution of life. The tough chrysalis is nature’s way of forcing fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings so it’s ready to fly once it emerges from the chrysalis. The moral to the story is that struggle is required for growth.
So, maybe we need to choose to look at this moment as a chance for growth. Maybe this is a remarkable opportunity to learn and to grow. And maybe this is a fantastic chance to reconnect with the kind of values that will enable all of us to fly.