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Jessica James the American wayHello my friends!

I hope you’re doing well, and are taking the disruptions to your life in stride. The fact that we’ve never seen anything quite like this is causing many to feel bewildered and confused. But unlike our forefathers who were called by the millions to carry a rifle and engage in combat, all we are being asked to do is hunker down and learn to accept this “new normal.”

The new normal means we have to face the fact that life as we knew it just a few months ago is gone…and we don’t know when—or if—that life is ever coming back. Some of the adjustments this new life brings are small…like using words we’d never even heard before as part of our every day conversations: Self-quarantine. Social-distancing. Flattening-the-curve.

And some of the changes are mind-boggling immense…like losing a job, trying to make ends meet, worrying about the health of a loved one.

But maybe we should look at things a little differently, see the glass as half full. I make a living writing books that feature heroes borne in times of crises. And now, looking around, I can see a wave of real-life heroes emerging from the shadows. Doctors, nurses, and first responders for sure, but also the multitudes who are in the front lines working hard to keep America moving: Truckers. Janitors. Shelf-stockers. Anyone who has stepped forward to answer the call of service, defy the odds, and confront the negativity.

No other country can claim the strength and resilience we have inherited from our Founders, who changed the world with their sacrifices and service. Relying on nothing but grit and determination, our nation has endured a Great Depression; fought seemingly unwinnable wars; and survived terrorist attacks. Strengthened by adversity, we have innovated, created, and revolutionized entire industries, even when confronted by insurmountable obstacles.

Of course, many of us are blessed to have never seen or faced such tremendous hardships. But just like other tumultuous times in our nation’s past, this point in time will some day just be another page in our history books. Stories will be told and passed down about the pandemic of 2020, and how we fared.

So rather than shrink from it, let’s support each other through it, and show the world why we are looked to as the great beacon of hope. What we do—each one of us—in this moment will resonate for generations to come. Yes, there will be sacrifices, of that there can be no doubt. But along with the troubles, there will also be unexpected benefits to all this chaos.

We all have the chance to choose hope, or to choose fear. We can look at these times as a terrible misfortune…or seize it as an opportunity.

Here are a few ideas for using this time in a beneficial way:

Slow down.

Count your blessings.

Seek opportunities to serve.

Squeeze blessings out of every single day.

Now is the time to stand united, be strong, and acknowledge that our lives are temporarily suspended, not over. The worst of times tend to bring out the best in people. Seek your opportunities and make a difference.

Standing together, we can do the impossible and come out stronger on the other side. Let’s put aside disagreements, lend a hand to our neighbors, and inspire the world with our unity.

That’s the American way

 

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