Posts Tagged ‘scan the environment’

I’m tired of the climate of fear out there; and the fear that sometimes grips my own mind.  I know we’re in a down economy; I know it’s been devastating for any number of people.  I know many of us feel paralyzed about moving forward. But I keep coming back to what I’ve learned and have taught in crisis communications:  a crisis is an opportunity, and the only way to make it disappear is to lean into it and embrace it.  It’s incredibly difficult to deal with finances this year; to try and manage well; to cut back; to worry about jobs, about investments, about one’s home.  There’s no easy path through this.  But that’s just the point.  When things are this worrisome and this bad, we need to be looking for the opportunity in it; we need to think outside the box and see what else we can do.  A lot of my students are doing just that – they’re working out a Plan B, and I could hug each of them for being willing to take the risk.  We all need to be reinventing ourselves, both professionally and personally – but we can’t do a good job of it if we’re trapped in fear. 

Confrontation – being willing to see, to grasp, to acknowledge – is the first step.  After that, you need to “scan the environment,” to use a favorite public relations terms; you need to take stock, and really understand and analyze where you are.  Granted, that’s easy to say in theory, when in realitiy someone might have just lost both a job and a home.  But you still have something; you still have whatever talents, skills and abilities you had before the losses; you still have your drive, you still have yourself.  As Dana Reeve told her husband, Christopher Reeve, after the horseback riding accident which paralyzed him, “You’re still you.” 

And, as I tell my younger students, who feel they aren’t doing anything if they aren’t getting straight A’s, that’s not the point; the point is that they stay and add their voices to our human community.  It takes all voices to make a choir; we all need to sing, where we are, and however we are.  A cartoon in this morning’s paper had a bird saying, “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.”   Sometimes it takes great courage to still sing, and to hold on to hope.  But when all is lost, what else do you have?  Your voice, your faith, your hope;  and we move forward, all of us, because of it.

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