As I write this morning, the sun is just beginning to come up. I’m a morning person. This week, in particular, I want to wake up early and connect with what’s right in this world. The birds are fully awake and going about their business. Their chirping is a reassuring reminder that in my backyard things are okay, even if in the world at large they don’t seem to be. I live in Atlanta in the U.S., and Spring is here already.
My cat (Sher Khan) wants to go outside, so we step out together. It’s a chilly morning. The two large maple trees in my back yard are sprouting leaves. In the distance, I hear the sirens of an ambulance. For a moment it drowns out the songbirds. And then it fades out. It’s a beautiful metaphor that life contains it all, beauty and danger and everything is temporary.
In stressful times, we need to remind ourselves to notice the beauty in the midst of it all, to find that which connects us to our creativity, our goodness, our strengths, our spirit.
It will help us keep our heads.
This poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling seems apt for this morning.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
Do share what sustains you in stressful times. What beauty are you finding around you to ground you? I have tremendous hope that we humans are a resilient bunch.
Grateful we’re in this together,
P.S. Please share these blog series with others on your teams so together we can grow new capacities to thrive in disruption. You can sign up for the series here. And don’t forget to comment below with your questions and challenges so we can co-create for our community.