I just finished reading The Splendid and the Vile, but Erik Larson. It’s a book about the time when Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain before the Americans were catapulted into the war because of the Pearl Harbor attack.
This was the time when Hitler believed he could easily defeat England by bombing them to smithereens which he almost did. 32,000 people were killed furing the Blitz that dropped bombs over England. 87,000 people were seriously injured. This was before a sophisticated health system.
Churchill’s grasp of history and leadership had a way of giving courage during the darkest of times.
His political enemies reviled him, the press often panned his speeches – even the ones that live in history today. In spite of all of it he proceeded cautiously wooing America he knew he needed in order to win the war.
Most of all, his own courage inspired others. People became their best through all the travail.
My mother in law was an illustrator who worked in Londons during this time.
She described her office being bombed on many nights and dragging card tables out to the street the next morning to get the magazine out.
Nothing stopped them.
People took care of their neighbors whose homes vanished overnight. They shared their food, although meager and managed to keep their humor high.
We are, in a way, in a similar time.
The enemy is invisible, but we know it is there, but where? It’s very hard when you can’t identify it in any way.
This is the time to allow the best in us to emerge.
You may already think you are there, but there’s always more.
Take a bit of time to decide what your best might look like in this period of doubt and dread.
Pick a few things to do for others. Make of list of people who could use your assistance. Be there- not just for a second, but be present for them.
Do you know your neighbors? It might be a great time to take a walk and meet them with a good bit of distance between you as you chat.
Does someone need something they cannot get? Start a Facebook group and post the request. Invite others within a small radius to join you.
Make a call, send a note, draw a cartoon, make someone laugh.
Being your best is achievable if you realize that it’s a cycle of becoming. The more you practice, the better you get and there are always a few more steps to go.
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