Are we all ready for this challenging time? Deep down, do we have what it takes to get through this very difficult moment in history? We believe the answer is YES, if each of us avoids the temptation to let fear control us. Fear will lead to selfishness, hoarding and an “I’m going to get mine” mentality. Faith will lead to a spirit of calm, patience, and a concern for those much worse off than all of us reading this.
In my briefcase I carry a copy of an email that Mark’s and my father (Joseph Palmer, namesake of this company) shared with us back in February of 2009, another time of crisis. The email was from one of his and mom’s best friends, a couple also in their late 70’s at that time and it was addressed not only to mom and dad but to a large group of their friends – most in their older years as well. The email was simply a list of things to do and/or focus on when times are rough. Now seems a perfect time to share some of the better recommendations with all of you. Here are my 10 favorite:
- Take a 10-30-minute walk outside every day (preferably in a park or on a trail of some kind). And while you walk, notice God’s beautiful creation all around you. Look intently at the sky, the trees, the birds, everything that you see. Take in deeply the colors, sounds and smells. That daily walk will be the perfect anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication, especially in times like these.
- Sit in silence each day for at least 10 minutes. If you’re a person of faith, talk to God about what is going on in your life and what you’re thankful for.
- When you wake up each morning, say the following to yourself: My life’s purpose is ________________ and today, I’m going to live that purpose, regardless of circumstances. Then go live it…with passion!
- Try to make at least three people smile each day. What can you say or do for a loved one, the cashier at your local Panera, or your neighbor to make them smile?
- Don’t waste your precious energy and time on gossip, old grievances, negative thoughts or things you can’t control. Invest your energy in the present moment and in the future – how can you love and live right now and in the future?!
- Remember that however good or bad a current situation is, it will change.
- All of us have all we need – so avoid the temptation to be envious.
- When you are tempted to worry, write down 10 blessings in your life that you are thankful for.
- Strive each day to speak kindly, live simply, love generously and care deeply, especially for those in need.
- Go to bed each night with a promise to yourself and to God that you will strive to do all of the above better tomorrow than you did today.
Aren’t these wonderful?! While many of the people receiving this email back in 2009 are no longer with us, their recommendations live on – challenging all of us to live with great gratitude and hope. And remember, these people were part of the greatest generation. They lived through many challenges in their lifetimes and here they were sharing these positive and faith-filled suggestions.
Crises don’t form our character, they reveal our character. What character will we all be revealing in the weeks ahead??