The saying “What’s the worst that could happen?” is often said by people up against modest problems. You never hear families dealing with cancer say this. You never hear the question posed to someone on the brink of financial ruin. Or generals on the battlefield. It’s said by everyday people with first world problems.
Well, welcome to the coronavirus world. This once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic has eviscerated daily life and commerce in ways rational people never expected. It has created heroes out of ne’er-do wells. It has exposed leaders as pleaders. It has turned preening entrepreneurs to sand.
We are so much more than money. We are Americans. Born of grit. And comity. Our heritage is as pioneers, not bougie idlers and finger pointers. We are scientists and helpers. At our best we are selfless and empathetic.
In the business world and in life, those who come out of this crisis alive, or in many cases dead, as “givers” rather than “takers,” will set the table for the future. Money is not the litmus of success, humanity is. And sometimes humanity means making difficult decisions. But for the good of the tribe.
As one of my heroes Eddie Vedder likes to say “I am a patriot.” Patriots will win out when this is over. Not those political nabobs or sign swinging, USA chanting folks. I’m talking about Americans who actually helped their way out of a crisis. With no agenda other than lifting up a brother and a sister.