Live in Wisdom: How do we respond well in difficult situations?
I was recently asked, "Hey, why haven't I seen you at ________?" I left the place blank on purpose because it doesn't necessarily matter what you put in that blank, you probably haven't seen me in a lot of places.
Some people have asked from, what I believe, is a sincere place if I haven't been going places that we had gone regularly pre COVID because of fear.
You're afraid you're going to get the Virus?
The answer is no.
My wife and I are limiting our out of the house experiences because we feel it is wise to do so. But not for any of the reasons that have been suggested to me at this point. Before I explain the reasons that we have chosen this approach, I'd like to share another version of it.
We have policies for all of our offices regarding the COVID-19 and our state and federal government mandates. Invariably, someone will come in and complain about some part of the policy or they will ask my opinion on the virus or our collective government's response.
Invariably, I tell them that my opinion doesn't matter.
Hear me out. As a citizen, my opinion matters, and my vote can reflect those opinions this November. My opinion matters as someone who lives here in this state and country.
But, as someone on a mission, my opinion does not matter.
What is wise?
We start with a basic question. What is wise? As a family, our basic answer to that question is whatever is right in the short term, the long term, and for legacy. When we consider things like our current situation we ask some more basic questions to get us going.
- What is the likely outcome of __________ decision?
- What is the likely outcome if it goes badly?
- What happens if something happens that I'm not accounting for?
- How does this help me with what I am trying to accomplish?
When we run our responses and eventual actions through these lenses, we usually end up with more questions that help us navigate our decisions.
So when we run out our response to the current situation, we have policies that reflect the best opportunity for us to remain open and serve people. That's the only opinion that matters to us as a couple and a family.
So, we don't go to a lot of big people type things. We take precautions that we believe give us the best chance to stay open and serve people.
We try to filter things through what happens if we're exposed to someone who is positive? How do we best manage that possibility and the negative outcomes that would follow that situation?
We view this as an opportunity to teach our children what it means to examine the impact of our decisions on other people. How will our client's mental health be impacted by the consequences of our decisions?
I still have opinions about this whole mess. I've had conversations with close friends whom I trust about those opinions. There is a lot of fear and anger out there to go around. My wife and I have chosen to do our best to spread kindness and grace. We've chosen to do what we can to help as many people as possible. That's our mission.
One of the core values we teach our children is that if life is going to be meaningful, it has to be about more than us.
That's true in almost every situation we find ourselves in. This situation has taken a lot from people and it is certainly happening in an extremely divisive time in our society, but wisdom is still the best course of action.
May you find wisdom in your response to these events. May you spread grace and kindness.