one shining moment

Will we embrace the moment?

Will we do this well?

Friends, with the speed and spread of the virus, news, and our individual and collective readiness, one thought keeps coming to me, over and over again. We have an opportunity.

Yes, COVID-19 is significant, and it is undoubtedly prudent each of us prepare. While some may perceive various responses as an overreaction, it is important to remember that the current goal is to “flatten the curve.” Shared by shrewd health officials, the goal is to minimize the number of cases until more protective measures are in place. The coronavirus will still spread in the United States; the objective is to curtail the speed of the spread, giving hospitals, private and public health organizations more time to prepare. We don’t want to overwhelm the healthcare system; we instead want beds available, respirators ready, and more time for an effective vaccine to be developed.

An opportunity exists.

It is not rocket science to recognize we live in a fairly fractious state. We denigrate, discriminate and too often disrespect. We find so many reasons to look down upon another. Intelligent people do it. Otherwise astute people do it. Our politicians and pundits do it. We do it. 

In public. On social media. We even chuckle, cheer, hit “like,” and more.

I know… I know… “I have reasons for my disrespect!”

I hear you. Let me gently but boldly ask, “What part of ‘loving your neighbor’ are you omitting?”

It is no secret that the Intramuralist finds our current divisive society severely distasteful.

Hence, in a moment like this, I crave embracing the obvious opportunity…

We have a common goal.

We have something before us that transcends individual identity, passion, politics and pursuit.

We have something bigger.

Bigger is a bridge to opportunity.

Our goal is to stop this vicious virus. Our aim is to curtail the outbreak and eventually eradicate the illness. Our collective desire is that no more would succumb to the sickness.

Whether we are black, white, gay, straight, Christian, Jewish, liberal or conservative, etc., etc., we want the same thing.

The opportunity we have is therefore this: to recognize we want the same thing.

… As long as I see you as wanting something different than me, I don’t have to respect you. I don’t have to give you the time of day. You’re not worth it. You don’t deserve my time or attention. You should be silenced, in fact… You don’t deserve my respect…

When I am instead humbled enough to recognize the profound truth that you and I want the same thing — that we have the same goal — I become a better listener; my prejudice and judgment become additional aspects curtailed. For we have more in common than we do not; our opportunity is to recognize that — allowing no other conviction or opinion to obstruct what is true.

In the midst of this current scenario, of all that has thus far been cancelled, one of the most significant is “March Madness,” the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship. The 15-day, 14-city event nets near one billion dollars in ad revenue, and is watched by approximately 100 million people worldwide. This year, that won’t happen.

In typical years, after a new team’s crowning and the cutting down of the nets, CBS musically depicts the past weeks’ play with video set to “One Shining Moment,” a song sung since 1987 by Luther VanDross, Ne-Yo and more. As written on Wikipedia, “The first verse is about inspiration and hard work. The second verse deals with adversity.”

Inspiration. Hard work. Adversity. 

With our current efforts to curtail the coronavirus, let’s be inspired. Let’s maximize the bridge to opportunity. Let’s work together and focus on what we have in common. Let’s omit the politics. Let’s fill the gap with trust. And let’s do the hard work, fighting through the fears, peril, and precautions associated with the adversity.

That way, at the end of this, “one shining moment” will still be played.