In the midst of the pandemic madness that encircles our lives, I find myself asking the question: “What would Winston do?” I’m referring, of course, to Winston Churchill. There are countless world leaders, past and present, who I could call upon as my muse, but there’s something about Churchill’s British sensibility of “stay calm and carry on” that resonates with my decidedly Anglo-Saxon upbringing. In my grandmother’s house, there was nothing that a good cuppa couldn’t fix. And hysterics? Who has time for that when there’s work to do!
Churchill had a lot to say about fighting through adversity and never giving up, and provides wise words for the weeks and months ahead. But he also spoke eloquently about the importance of service, noting, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
During this time of immense challenge, what we have lost is foremost in the minds of many. I think, however, that turning our gaze outward and reflecting on how we can help others can provide relief from the sense of existential angst many of us feel. Our children, in particular, can be helped to create order out of what feels like chaos if we encourage them to look beyond their personal circumstances to find small ways they can help others. The belief that our actions matter, that we matter, that we can work towards a better outcome is so important for all of us right now.
Recently, I asked our Trafalgar families to rally around those within our own community who are struggling by donating to our Financial Aid program for next year. Many of our families are coping well during these bumpy economic times, but some are negatively impacted. Our community is wonderful and I have faith that we will band together to support one another through kindness and generosity.
I hope that all will look for ways to create meaning and hope at this time of loss. Please reach out through your faith group, your community organizations, neighbourhood or social network to find ways to help. Engage your child in the conversation and show them what it means to make a difference. In so doing, you will help others while helping your own family to find meaning and purpose during these challenging times.