The world exposed to a pandemic for the first time in over 100 years has brought new meaning to our motto: Be Brave – Be Safe. Most of us are still reeling from how our daily lives drastically changed within a few short days and the underlying uncertainty about it all. However you are managing through the days, I want you to know that this, too, shall pass. And when it does, I pray that you and your family are all healthy and satisfied with how you used the time.
Whether we like it or not, experience has shown us how much we learn and grow from personal challenges. We rarely go through these difficulties together as citizens of the world and as upsetting as it is, there are lessons to be learned that are powerful and needed. Nothing is all good or bad and that is why we must be brave in the face of uncertainty. We must be willing to look at the whole picture: the world, the countries, the millions impacted, the people we know, the community we live in, and our place and potential purpose in this story.
What good can we do? If you’re on the front lines (you’re probably not reading this), I hope that you know that everyone is grateful beyond measure and sending our very best wishes!
If you’re stuck at home spending more time with immediate family than you ever imagined possible with no idea of when you may enjoy a moment alone again (or conversely, you are isolated and more alone than ever), what are your options? What is your BRAVE Plan to be true to yourself and be safe?
That is the challenge that I foresee for children every single day and it is why The Joyful Child Foundation’s Be Brave – Be Safe Program exists, but this pandemic has brought it into focus in a whole new way.
“Be Brave” comes first because life is uncertain and fear is a natural response to potential dangers that can actually help us to be safe if we’re willing to acknowledge how we feel. I suspect nearly everyone can actually feel a difference in their bodies from the day this pandemic broke even if we are mostly simply staying at home. The tension is a sign that there is a problem. Something isn’t right. There may not be an immediate emergency, but everything is questionable, so we are naturally (biologically) on alert. My friends, our children learn more from what we do than from what we say. Now, more than ever, it is time that we, as caring adults, be brave about acknowledging how we are feeling so that we can reclaim our “ability to effect change and achieve purpose.”*
I hope that you will take advantage of our free BRAVE Lessons Online available for the duration of our quarantine and use them to deepen your connection and communication with the young people in your lives.
We tell our students, “Be Brave by being true to you! No one in this small world of over 8 billion people has your thoughts, ideas, and feelings, so it is our job to keep you safe so that you can grow up and discover all that you can do and be.”
My mother was the wisest person I have ever known and she used to send Samantha off to school every morning with the words, “Be brave. Have fun!” Samantha’s motto on notes to family and friends was simply:
May your days reflect your best intentions.
With love and gratitude,