The importance of character when it's important
I am not trying to be flippant when I say we are all in the middle of a very large Virology 101 classroom — as COVID 19 infiltrates the populations of the world we are all better understanding virus morphology, modes of transmissions, R naught ratings, progression of a disease, et cetera, et cetera. A new virus has entered the population and based on current data, if not put in check, may kill up to 2 % of the population before a vaccine and therapeutics are available. By any definition we are dealing with a crisis and now faced with what is affectionately called “flattening the curve” — implementing activities to slow the transmission rate of the virus, and by doing so, protect our institutions from becoming overwhelmed by those who become very sick. This is a situation where no one person can sit on the sidelines and everyone needs to take this seriously. Success will be the result of an effort of community and the character that comes with it.
We have all had difficult situations to work through, and like Covid 19, some came with ramifications that were life altering. As I contemplate the current situation (and past situations), there are aspects of character that reflect who we are, and more importantly, reflect our standing when the dust settles. The character for success.
Curiosity and Adaptability — ask questions to understand the situation. Be curious about the situation; understand the situation; know the situation. Seek out knowledge and be willing to adapt to the circumstances you have to work with. Knowledge will inevitably bring change and It’s important to embrace it — no matter how uncomfortable.
Honesty and Transparency — speak truth and be willing to share that truth. Full Stop
Compassion and Kindness — be willing to help others. Offering a helping hand is important, but remember empathy for how someone is feeling (or how they are reacting) can help with connection and understanding, and this will most likely lead to a more successful outcome. It’s possible that unexpected response was not because the person is difficult, but rather because they are anxious.
Grit and Determination — “I will not stop until it is done”. This is the birth place of all those good things we like to talk about: “New ways of doing things”, “Creative ideas”, “Overcoming obstacles”, “INNOVATION”, “Out of the box thinking”, “Success”, et cetera.
Courage — introduce a new virus into the population that disrupts the way we live, makes people sick, and causes death — it will cause anxiousness, anxiety and fear to be sure. The only way to check these feelings (and deal with the situation) is with courage. Even if you are just pretend to be courageous, that will work too.
Rising to the challenge, putting your best foot forward and bringing out the best in people — definitely important when it’s important, but then again, shouldn’t that be every day.