By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
We are finishing out a week that no one is going to forget any time soon. Truth be told, we may have several more, and we may stick to this Publisher’s Point title for awhile and add installments. We just don’t know what is ahead or how to get there, but at the risk of sounding like I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth, we do know the path. I’ll explain. Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun, and that includes a crisis, whether it be personal or global, external, internal, or all of it. We can look at all the things our nation has been through, especially in the last one hundred and fifty years, and there are things we can bring forward in order to help us not only go through this, but more importantly, grow through this.
For my own shorthand in getting through this, I have divided the possibilities for behavior into two categories: “corona moments,” and “crowning moments.” Corona moments are the things that basically describe us at our worst—things like hoarding toilet paper, being awful to store clerks or people who can’t do anything about what’s going on, or giving in to fear and allowing it to control us. Mind you, everyone I know, from the strongest believer to the agnostic, is going to get hit with fear from time to time. It is part of the human condition. But it is the choice to stay afraid and turn our eyes in or down that engenders the “corona moment.” A few issues ago I asked the question, “Why Be Well?” with the intent of inspiring us to choose a healthy lifestyle, body, soul, mind, body, and pocketbook so we can be our best selves and serve others. It turns out that choosing to practice good mental hygiene is especially important in the “present distress.” The more you allow yourself to be afraid, the more you suppress your immune system. The more you suppress your immune system, the more vulnerable you are to COVID-19 and every other disease on the planet—manufactured or natural.
By contrast, “crowning moments” are the things that demonstrate the power to make good choices, even if we just messed up, and we really do have the potential to have this season become our finest hour. So, what are the things that always work, even if it takes some time before they affect our emotions? Prayer and repentance, for yourself and others, for starters. Kindness and generosity. Everybody needs to feel like someone is looking out for them. Music. Sing in your open apartment window like the Italians. Instead of singing “Happy Birthday” while you are washing your hands in public, what if you broke out into Zach Williams’ “No Longer Slaves to Fear,” or Fanny Crosby’s “Blessed Assurance?” I was just at a women’s retreat in Florida, and we had to pay on a toll road. The worker in the kiosk smiled and said, “Today, for you it’s free because someone paid the toll for ten people.” That made my day. That was a crowning moment, and though the word is essentially the same, I am going to trust that the Crown is going to ultimately win over the corona.