The COVID-19 virus counts are increasing, again. There are plenty of reasons. Here are three.

  • Authority figures gave mixed messages. (“Masks are vital but limited.” “Masks are not effective.” “We don’t have enough masks.” “Masks are plentiful.” “Only old people need masks.”)
  • We don’t know much about our generation’s first pandemic. (” Deaths, no wait, infections, are the most important metric to track.”)
  • Many people reject instruction from authority. Some people live as if expertise is dead. Some of those folks may soon be dead themselves. (“Well, Dr., that’s your opinion, but I prefer the idea that I found on the Internet.”)

For a few weeks, it seemed that many people believed “We’re all in this together.” Now we seem more divided. Other important causes like greater racial respect or getting people back to work draw attention away from national health. Our nation is conflicted and having trouble agreeing on national priorities.

One definition of hope is “the faith that we can make things better.” By that definition, many people are hopeless in relation to income inequality, police practices, national racial relations, or the pandemic.

What can we do? Neither you nor I will invent a vaccine or find a cure for the virus. The governor doesn’t call us for advice on public policy. Other than wearing our masks and washing our hands, what can we do this week to help those who are hurt, confused, or disoriented? Here are some actions that have inspired me:

  • Befriend or love the odd duck in your family or circle.
  • If you’re a praying person, pray for a few people each day of the week.
  • When you dine out, tip more generously. Before you leave, walk to the back, and thank the wait staff, the busboy and the cook for taking care of you. You may be surprised at how much that’s appreciated.
  • For a few days this week try to ignore or forgive half of the petty insults, rude driving, and snarky comments.
  • Maybe once this week, apologize, maybe even if you’re sure you did anything out of line. What harm could it do?
  • Donate a small amount, privately, maybe to someone else’s favorite cause. Donations are a great antidote to greed.
  • Recognize that for some people, simply showing up, dressed, clean and sober is a victory. Probably more people than we realize are so shellshocked that they’re near tears. Some exhausted souls deal with bosses or coworkers or people at home who seem impossible to please. Let’s try to cut him/her some slack.

This a start. What do you, or someone you admire, do that’s not on this list?

What kind of person do you aspire to be? When you’re gone, what do you want people to imitate about your life? Let’s you and I start living the stories that we want people to tell about us.

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Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.

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