2020 has taught me what my neighbors have always known: that resilience is best forged in the fires of hardship.
When they hurriedly dismissed the kids from school for two weeks back in March, who could have guessed we would still be here today? As I write, I am helping my five year old with virtual kindergarten, our 6 month old sleeps in his crib, Adam teaches high school science across the dining room table, and the other two do school from the couches. It’s a lot. And everything feels even harder when I zoom out from our own hard. From there, I see the suffering and isolation and food insecurity and educational inequities and racial tensions and political divisions that seem to only grow wider and deeper as the pandemic drags on.
And yet, we are all still continuing on. Our neighbors have formed senior support networks and virtual learning pods. Nonprofits and churches are still handing out food. Teachers are finding new ways to reach their students. Parents are trying to make ends meet, and communities are connecting over zoom and in backyards and on bike rides.
In the face of hardship, resilience is the muscle we get to grow. And sometimes it’s painful. But resilience develops as a stubborn persistent hope. A near-foolish refusal to stop putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right thing even when it feels both fruitless and impossible. Together, we will emerge (hopefully) with new depths of compassion and joy, and new ideas for caring for our community and loving our neighbors well.