The definition of a champion is someone who supports or defends, who fights or speaks for another according to Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com.
Right now during this time of #COVID19 that is changing so many lives and endangering others we all need to be champions. We all need to support, defend, fight, and speak up for one another.
For a bit I heard sprinkles of news about the #coronavirus. Living in Rochester, NY, the problems connected with COVID19 seemed far away from my bubble of the world. Yet as each day, each week went by, the virus was quickly coming closer. While we live in a world were we are separated by land and oceans from each other, our ability to travel and explore connects us. Over one week ago on a Friday we were told at the school I work at to bring all of our personal and work belongings home. The next day we closed for an uncertain amount of time. The virus was here and it was time to take action to stop the spread, flatten the curve, save lives. Time to be champions.
I would say for 99.9% of us this virus has changed lives. For some, the changes are minor. For others, the changes are major. School shutting down mean no meals for some, businesses shutting down mean no income for others, parents who have to work outside of the home are scrambling for daycare, people are physically distancing, social connections are limited, people who are elderly and disabled were understandably fearful to go to the store, and due to some panic purchasing there was few, if any, of the items you needed. The additional stressors and uncertainties increased many people’s emotional reactions. Times like this can bring out the best in people. Times like this can also tip the tide of those who struggle and are scared.
Yet as quickly as news of the virus and the major life changes attached to it, news of champions came even faster. Neighbors helping neighbors, groups of people coming together to help get food and supplies for the elderly and disabled and deliver them to their doorsteps, people finding ways to support the smaller businesses, volunteers stepping to do whatever they could to help, a group of people making homemade sanitizer and anti coronavirus kits to give to the homeless. People working in health care distancing from their families, store workers still working. In Italy a video circulated of people singling together from their balconies, in Spain people applauding their healthcare workers. Truck drivers working extra shifts, food care workers coming to work in school and other agencies to make meals for children and families, and some super cute penguins taking a walk around the zoo to visit other animals.
There are many champions still working and reaching out to care for so many that it would fill pages and pages and pages and pages and PAGES. There are many champions who are doing their part by staying at home and physically distancing from others. Champions are posting ways to keep socially connected while physically distancing. Champions helping the elderly, disabled, homeless, children, workers, neighbors, themselves. Alexander den Heijer said it best:
“Champions don’t show up to get everything they want; they show up to give everything they have”
Every single one of us has a champion inside of us. The ability to give everything we have to help ourselves and to help others.
First make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health. Keep a routine, eat nutritious foods, exercise, go outside, keep hydrated, have a good sleep schedule. Read a book, do a craft, clean out that cluttered junk drawer, learn a new skill, breathe. That is being a champion for yourself. You can be a champion for others. Reach out and connect with people. Have phone calls, video chats, text people, go for a walk with a friend (keeping the 6 feet distance), donate money if possible, express thanks to those working, volunteer if you can, help a neighbor. Yesterday I was talking to one of my friends who runs a dental practice. She stated when she was talking to a patient about the change in the routine, the patient thanked her for being cheerful and calm. Yep cheerful and calm. That is a champion.
We can do this, and are doing this. Humans are resilient, smart, brave, and compassionate. What people are demonstrating during this coronavirus time is not any new skills or emotions. They are qualities that have always been there.
At the end of the Wizard of Oz Glinda tells Dorothy always had the power to return to Kansas. When asked why Glinda did not tell Dorothy before Glinda states “she would not have believed me, she had to learn it for herself”
What am I doing to champion for myself? All the things I listed above. I did go for a physically distant walk with a neighbor too! How am I championing for others? I am checking in on my neighbors, figuring out how to volunteer, donated some money cause I do have the financial resources. For my school job I am posting twice weekly stories of good for staff, checking in on my students and families, and am going to be sending positive notes to everyone. Hello snail mail! Taking positive actions steps helps me to feel stronger, empowered, and more in control.
Champion humans we’ve got this. Is it scary and uncertain right now? Yes! By taking actions to help ourselves and help others we can give everything we’ve got to make our world and the world for others a better place than it was. I believe you can do it. I believe we can do it!
May your champion be with you💜
PS – Please share your champion stories. How you are being a champion for yourself? How you are championing for others?