Because I’m moderately overwhelmed by the level of virtue that I see on social media amongst, well, everybody, especially educators, I’m hard-pressed to find something original I can contribute during this crisis.
I’m reminded of what my mentor told me, “When it comes to leadership, the best thing you have to offer is your authentic voice, your stories.” So I thought I would start a COVID-19 journal *. Also, because perhaps one day these posts will be featured as a primary source document on the American History New York State Regents exam.
These are two of my favorite tweets that I’ve seen during this time:
I’m reading a wonderful book about Winston Churchill’s leadership during World War II, The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. People all over England were being killed by bombs dropped from enemy planes. 20% of London’s population slept in the subway; another 20% of the population slept outside; anything to avoid being killed by a bomb. Food was scarce, everything was scarce. I don’t know what COVID-19 will look like a week from now but, if you want to learn about a crisis, THAT was a crisis.
Perspective. That’s what I’m talking about. We’ve got to keep our perspective, stick together, persevere and endure. And also, don’t complain. We need to focus on life and death. People are dying from this thing. Who are we to complain about being stuck in the house? There are people who don’t have homes; who don’t have food. In times of crisis, it’s always the individuals who live the most fragile existences who are most exposed. If you have a paycheck, health insurance, a roof over your head, and food in your fridge, be grateful (and wash your hands). Check your privilege people!
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived. ”
* The problem with writing during a time such as this; what I write today may seem absurd two months from now, a week from now, even an hour from now? Although conditions shift dramatically minute-to-minute during this crisis, I can only hope to offer reflections on conditions that exist now. How long before someone posts on social media a quill scrolled message from someone during the first weeks of the Black Plague, “What’s everybody worried about, people have had the flu before?!”