“This is the time to be a warrior.” My friend’s voice came through the phone loud and clear as she pushed me to stop the tears, do the hard thing, and take a stand.
It was really an unfair tactic. That warrior talk always gets me, and she was right. Sitting around feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to help. Being a victim wasn’t going to fix anything. I needed to stand up, think hard, and do something.
So, I did.
I wasn’t great at it. It’s not easy to stand up to a bully. I fumbled over my words, and some of the things I said probably didn’t make sense, but that’s not the point. The point is that I stood up. I didn’t give up.
It’s also probably important to note that sometimes the bully isn’t a person but a thought, a way of doing things, a situation, a virus. It’s that thing that looks bigger and more awful than it really is. It demands attention and tells you you’re little and insignificant—that you can’t do anything to stop it, that in the end, it will win.
But that’s not true. You can make a difference. Your ripple in the water can turn into a wave of change.
Don’t get me wrong. Standing up is hard and doesn’t look the same on all of us. It calls for clarity and creativity, and its success isn’t always so easy to discern.
Like right now, standing up to the situation we face in the world actually looks like each of us sitting down, staying in our houses, and keeping our distance. Or, in some cases, it resembles changing the subject and focusing on something besides the impending doom of our economy. Maybe your standing up means you’ll say no to throwing a party or forego taking a trip.
I don’t know what it will look like for you, but I do know that it’s probably time for us all to start acting like warriors. No more sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves or fretting over what the future holds. Now is the time to stand up for those who are weaker. It’s time for us to think outside the box of our own comforts, and actually do something for someone else.
May we not be known as the society that was too selfish to care if someone’s grandma gets sick and dies. Let’s not be known for our disregard for the weak and frail, but rather let’s stand up for them or rather sit down on our couch and stay in.
And when the virus has been defeated, and we return to our new normal, let’s continue to be mindful of our choices.
When this is all over, I don’t want to be seen as a victim who suffered the quarantine clinging to my last roll of toilet paper. I’d rather emerge thankful for the small opportunity to do my part to save the world. How about you?
Maybe you need to hear it like I did. Dear friend, now is the time to be a warrior.