This morning as I was reading the paper in one section was a variety of photos taken throughout this year of well everything. As I glanced at the faces in the photos I could see in their souls the emotions they were feeling at the time. Anger, hurt, fear, joy, despair, pride, happiness and more.

These faces of life, and living in the year of 2020, where a pandemic is raging, protests racial disparities in the treatment of people of color, huge political divides, people losing jobs, homes, with no food to eat, life threatening illnesses, significant mental health crises, isolation and loneliness at dangerous levels, that we humans are tough stuff. All of us. We might be all wobbly inside, weak in the knees, sometimes unable to get out of bed, yet we try. We are tough stuff.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

In looking at the photos I recall the stories I have read and have heard this past year of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers. People coming together with the simple goal of helping their fellow human. In those moments individuals move beyond their fear, beyond their differences to help another human in distress, strengthening the bonds of humanity, creating human titanium. We are tough stuff.

Did you know that the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two symbols. One meaning danger, and the other meaning opportunity. Yep there is opportunity in crisis. Those moments provide us with the chance to be a better version of ourselves. An opportunity to help a fellow human. To perhaps glimpse inside ourselves to see what we are capable of.

“Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs. It’s the voice inside you that yells CAN’T, yet you push harder. And then you hear that voice whisper CAN. And you discover that the person you thought you were is not match for the one you really are.” Unknown

As humans we are messy, opinionated, passionate, determined, loud, quiet, brilliant, kind, courageous, caring, giving, generous, selfish, cold, sassy, salty, judgmental, clumsy, outspoken, empathic, compassionate, pains in the a**, hard headed, open minded, loving creatures. We try. We keep getting up. We fall, we soar, we grow, we cry. As Maya Angelou said “But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

So I celebrate you. For giving the best of you that you could to the world, even when you were struggling and hurting inside. For some days making it through the day even when it was incredibly hard for you. For helping your fellow human with a face masked smile and a kind word. For bringing food and supplies to those in need. For supporting a small business with your spending power. For trying to be the best you could be for yourself and for others. For being you with all of your glorious perfect imperfectly self. Thank you for bringing your you to the world.

May your tough stuff be with you💜

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash