My rant on something in today’s COVID-19 environment I think some people need to hear.
“Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me.”
I bet you’re a bit like me and heard or said that statement in your youth.
In showing strength in the schoolyard you may have put on a good front, but when you were alone in your room back home, did you really feel that way?
If you are a bit like me, you didn’t.
You know that statement is a lie.
I know that to be a truth, and you know it, too.
There is one word going around today that doesn’t break any bones, but it can break our spirit, our self-esteem, and our self-worth.
On the surface, in this COVID-19 environment, this word is very utilitarian.
Today in the United States, this word is useful in determining what companies can operate and what companies need to close.
This word is also useful in determining which employees get to or have to, go to work, and which ones will be furloughed, laid off or fired.
This word is also being used in some circumstances to determine which employees go into an office or get to work remotely.
Regardless of how useful this word is to facilitate an adaptation to current COVID-19 circumstances and the environment.
And, although, this word will not break any bones, it will break your spirit and can hurt you.
What is the word?
The word is…ESSENTIAL!
I was hit by the power of this word this week.
On two occasions I was on a Zoom call with business networking colleagues in two different groups.
As we all went around the Zoom Room explaining our present situation to our colleagues most everyone started their presentation
telling everyone whether their business had been deemed…ESSENTIAL.
Some were essential, some weren’t essential.
My business is not considered essential in the grand scheme of a COVID-19 world, and I didn’t need a government bureaucrat or a networking colleague to tell me that.
But, that’s not entirely true.
I know the value I offer you is essential, in the right context and environment.
And, the same is true for you.
Have others labeled your job essential?
I hope so, and I hope, that regardless of how someone else has labeled your job, that you see yourself and the value you bring to the world in many, many contexts of your personal and professional life, as essential.
This is your It’s Wonderful Life Story.
It took Clarence, the wing-aspiring angel, to show the suicidal George Bailey that he was essential to so many people in his lif and community in the classic holiday movie.
I think labeling someone’s role as “essential” has deep emotional ramifications.
We all want to believe we make a difference in the world.
We need to believe we make a difference in the world and that our life has meaning.
You do and you are.
Let’s find a new word for how we determine who has to go to work in a highly contagious pandemic or when the politicians play with
people’s livelihoods by shutting down the government.
In times like these when someone else chooses to label us and our roles as essential or not, we all need our own Clarence.
Who is yours?
If you got this far and you care enough to see a couple of my many angels, click videos below, they’re only 30-seconds.
And, remember the television series and Hill Street Blues’ Sergeant Phil Esterhaus’s (Michael Conrad) morning roll call catchphrase “Let’s Be Careful Out There!”
All My Best,