It is upon us to have real vision and remove the visor from our eyes and hearts. Through tests true character is known. God promised He will test us. And certainly, We will test you with some fear, hunger, lose of lives, and the fruits of your labor, but give glad tidings to the patient. (The Recital: Chapter 2 Verse 155) We must understand this and not let covid-19 prevent us from reaching for more.
However, now more than ever we must be people who remove the visor of pessimism and complaining and replace it with the lenses of patience and passion. I want us to reflect on what world we would be living in if Steve Jobs allowed obstacles to stand in his way. If he didn’t surround himself with positive people who had the same vision and passion. I only use him as my example because of the smart phones, PC’s, and laptops we use to phone, text and have video chats with family, friends, and strangers all over the world. These things wouldn’t exist if he allowed obstacles and the doubts of others to deter him.
I know that it’s scary. Believe me, I get that. But, just as I mentioned on my podcast, a tradition states, “Patience is like the sun.” So yes, this invisible enemy is tearing at the fabric of our existence, but if we, during these times of isolation, find new passions or rediscover our old ones, hopefully we will emerge from this with a different shine and a clearer vision. As Max DePree, a businessman and writer, says, We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” We must use this time of social distancing to evolve by working to achieve higher goals, to gain more knowledge, to cultivate a better outlook and to be better humans.
By achieving these objectives, we will be able to benefit others in a more profound way. It is unfortunate, that so many of us allow the visor of selfishness to blind our vision instead of thinking about more than just ourselves. No doubt, this disease is having a tragic impact on the world. But tragedies have happened before and they will happen again. However, it is with patience, sound actions, and having a clear vision for ourselves, loved ones, and humanity that we can emerge from this tragic time as the old saying goes, “Smelling like a rose.”
This is our time to make something better. If not for others, at the very least for ourselves. I remember listening to a talk about good character back in the early 90’s. The speaker asked a rhetorical question, “How can I help the world if I improve my character?” He replied, “Just look at it this way. If I improve myself, that’s one less person other people have to worry about receiving harm from.” You see the vision? He removed the barriers and looked at improving himself as a benefit to the world.
Let me take it a step further. There are approximately 8 billion people on the planet. So, what if 1 billion decided, I am going to be an agent of positive change. Just imagine the impact that would have. This is indeed how change takes place, one person at a time. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Steve Jobs, and Rosa Parks, they were by themselves in the beginning. Through the vision, passion for change, persistence, and patience, they changed the world for the better.
Some of us have gotten so settled into the norm that we’ve allowed pessimism and lack of vision to make us believe that more is not possible. But it is. Now more than ever, it is upon us to dare ourselves to improve inwardly and outwardly, and to let passion, purpose, and patience lead us to new heights. I remind myself and you to remove the visor and let our vision be clear by growing and becoming more complete human beings. The possibilities are still endless, we just have to look. As the poet says, “A man’s feet is planted firmly on the ground, but indeed his highest goals are in the stars.” Stay safe and strive to reach for more.