Aloha is...having patience and tolerance.
Most people in America have been practicing social distancing and living under stay-at-home orders for at least three weeks now and, for many, it feels like an eternity. Three weeks of working at home with or without a house full of children, who require constant stimulation, engagement, care and supervision, can be enough to test anyone’s patience and tolerance.
Then, there are some people who wish they could stay at home with their loved ones, safe and secure in the notion that they are not directly at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus disease. These Americans are our nation’s heroes. They are the health care workers who help keep us safer by treating those who are ill and helping to prevent the disease from spreading. They are also the essential workers in other fields, such as law enforcement and other safety personnel who keep our communities safe; grocery store clerks who keep stores open so we can continue to shop for food; and drivers who transport goods and supplies to the stores to keep them stocked or who even deliver them directly to our doorsteps so that we don’t have to leave our homes. Then, there are the restaurant workers, who continue to provide hot meals to keep us fed when we feel too stretched or overwhelmed at home to cook, and the baristas who keep pouring hot cups of our favorite coffee to keep stay-at-home workers going at home or other essential workers just trying to get through another day. Where would we be without the construction workers and tradespeople, such as those who repair and maintain the automatic doors to our grocery stores, hospitals and senior living communities, and those who keep our phone lines, internet service, electricity, and plumbing running smoothly? Lastly, let's not forget the postal and special delivery workers who bring us care packages and mail to help lift our spirits. There are still dozens more not mentioned in this scenario, but you get the picture.
In life, there will always be people who have it easier than us and there will always be people who have it harder. All we can do is manage our own attitudes and actions to make the most out of any chapter in our lives. But, this pandemic will dog-ear this chapter of our lives for years to come.
So, ask yourself, which story do you want to tell? Will you talk about how well you handled it or how well you didn’t handle it? Will you talk about how tolerant you became with our new lifestyle or how intolerant you became? Will you talk about how it brought your family, neighbors and community closer or how it divided you? Will you talk about how inconvenient life became or will you talk about how much you had taken your pre-coronavirus life for granted? Will you talk about how more patient you became with your loved ones or how impatient you became?
No one could have anticipated 2020 turning out like this. Plans for spring sports, family holidays, high school graduations, college commencements, vacations, weddings and even summer camp sessions have all been derailed. In fact, we've all had big hopes, dreams and even New Year's resolutions fall to the wayside. Instead, this year will go down as the worst chapter in the books, or will it? That is for you to decide.
The best tools you have at your disposal right now are patience and tolerance. Patience is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” We all have the power of patience, but it is your choice whether or not you want to use it, exercise it or practice it. Tolerance is defined as “the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, especially a drug, transplant, antigen, or environmental conditions, without adverse reaction.” When was the last time you practiced patience or tolerance? How much did having patience or tolerance affect the outcome? Was it worth it? Patience and tolerance can be the game changers in your story. The story you tell years from now will reflect how much patience and tolerance you have right now.
I hope you have enough patience and tolerance to make it through another week of pandemic 2020 and I hope you become a more patient, tolerant and compassionate person in the end. So, be patient, my Pineapple. I want you to have a good story to tell for years to come.
Live, Love and Lead with Aloha.