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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ALBERTO DE FEO -- Humans are very resilient, and this too shall pass, but how we react to this is what is going to make and is making a difference

Things have changed ...  

Only less than two months ago, I wrote about the challenges of today’s human nature and how difficult has become to communicate. At that time, the novel coronavirus (or COVID-19) was scourging China and a few other Asian countries. And then, a few days after my article, all hell broke loose. 

Today, I am in my home office trying to stay safe from this new plague which, as of today, has infected almost 1.7 million people and killed more than 100,000.

This is not the first, nor will be the last, time a new virus or a bacterium has brought havoc to the world. The Spanish influenza of 1918 is a scorching example of this.  Ebola, which has a mortality rate of 52% of those infected, happened only a few years ago. Ebola is not new, but it is real and lethal as well. 

They say that COVID-19 has a much higher mortality rate than the flu. So, we need to be careful and find ways to fight back.

However, we all know this.  You don’t need another article to tell you what thousands of articles have already told us.

What I wish to talk about is the amazing effect on humanity all this is having — one that makes me say again, strong and clear: “Hope never dies.”

Humans are very resilient, and this too shall pass, but how we react to this is what is going to make and is making a difference.

“Social/physical distancing” and “stay home” policies have changed the way we live but have also opened hearts in a way that is unprecedented—at least in the last few years. 

True, we still have those who find nothing better to do than complain about everything and anything. But the vast majority of the people in the world are uniting in efforts of solidarity and goodness that makes my heart melt.

Italians, in a nation ravaged by infection and death, led the way with singing and family picnics from balconies. Solidarity there has increased exponentially. 

They needed 500 health care volunteers: 9,000 responded. They needed more doctors: 3,500 retired doctors responded.  More than 100 health care workers and professionals have died to date in Italy because of being infected as they were helping patients – but the spirit of that nation is still strong.  And every day they find ways to live their lives fully despite the trials they are going through.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer on Good Friday to alleviate the pandemic, but also to ask for protection of health care workers, a reboot of the economy, and a return to a normal life.

Millions have responded to the invitation from Russell M. Nelson, the president of the church. And of those millions, hundreds of thousand are people from different faiths and philosophies: Muslims, Catholics, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, and many many others.

Today, then, I wish to invite you to look up and consider three things:

Be positiveThis will not last forever and a cure will be found. Hope and faith in our future can only be good for us. As we think of this, we can also rejoice in the good things we have had throughout our lives and take solace in the fact that, invariably, if we stick together, we will overcome anything – like we did in the past.  Richard L. Evans once said: “Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”

Be Grateful. Gratitude is the highest degree of selflessness. It makes us happier and helps us see things through a very different lens, in fact a lens of solidarity and a lens of belonging. If we show our gratitude, we create an attitude of being our best.  William Arthur Ward said: “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

Be Patient. We don’t know when this will be over, but we need to recognize that there will be an end at some point. In an era of instant gratification, it is difficult to cultivate patience. But by being patient we will learn the art of appreciating life and the ability to overcome challenges in our life. There is an old Italian proverb that says: “He who walks slow, remains healthy and goes far.”

Now I know there will be days when we will feel down and discouraged. However, I promise you that if you keep focused on that light at the end of the tunnel, not only will the darkness around you slowly fade, but the light will become stronger and stronger.

Stay safe!

Alberto De Feo was born and raised in Italy, where he received a doctorate degree in law from the University of Camerino.

With a career spanning over three decades in local government administration, he is currently the chief administrative officer of the District of Lake Country in the Central Okanagan region of British Columbia. He is also an adjunct professor of Political Science with the University of Northern BC, is very active in the community through his church, and the Rotary organization.

Alberto has a passion, and professional interest, in developing organizational excellence through ethical leadership.  He has served in a number of professional associations as a board member, and president.

Alberto is married to Silvana, has two wonderful children, and is also the author of a motivational blog since 2009 and enjoys writing on a variety of motivational topics.


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