We Can Learn Lessons During This Pandemic

coronavirus pandemic

As our world continues to be rocked by the Coronavirus-Covid19 pandemic, let’s look at what we know and where we are. I’m on my 11th day inside my home and the authorities were correct—I am safer. I intend to stay there until somebody drags me out kicking and screaming. So long as there is milk, Cheerios, ground beef, chicken, onions, and potatoes in the cupboard and freezer, I may be here indefinitely.

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Fear is Hard Work

Live fearlessly

Conquering fear is a full-time job

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” his words were meant to reassure us that everything would be all right, and we should not succumb to our fears. My friends, I don’t know about you, but I’m not nearly as afraid of the Coronavirus/Covid19 as I am of the news reports, uncertainty, and the unknown.

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As We Look Ahead

February 29 - extra day

As we look ahead, let’s remember to stay on track

This is leap year and though February 29th isn’t my birthday, I think it is the perfect day for us to do some reflection and planning. Yes, I know you made resolutions in January and you’re either way ahead or they’ve have fallen by the wayside—either way, February 29 is the perfect day to get back on track.

First, as I watched clips from the Kobe and Gianna Bryant tribute earlier this week, I was moved by many of the tributes. To see basketball icon Michael Jordan with tears streaming down his face but making jokes about how the social media memes will forever keep these images, lightened the mood but I loved that most of the tributes were about Kobe Bryant, the person.

Sometimes we forget that how we treat all the people around us every day is the sum total of who we are. Whether we take time to help, see a need and fill it, or simply “do you,” at the end of the day, what you have gotten done will be the measuring stick the world will use.

William Shakespeare is credited with “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,” and he’s partially right. If you are kind and generous, trust me, we will remember. I read account after account of the ways that Kobe remembered names and made people feel important, or by doing his charity work without the lights and cameras so many celebrities seek. That’s what I remember.

Secondly, remember the simple things that bring you joy. Whether it’s relaxing and admiring the morning or evening sunset, make time to do it. Take a minute and count your blessings—when you run out of fingers and toes, just clap for joy and understand that grace and mercy have once again intervened on your behalf.

Scatter joy and inspire others to greatness. My father’s sister and my great aunts were my favorites and according to them, I was the smartest and most beautiful niece ever.  I loved visiting them because they could improve even the most rotten days. Whenever I saw them, they gave me the confidence to face the world and conquer it. Be that mentor, friend, fan club president for some young person who is headed in the right direction. Better yet, be the ladder for one who is headed down the wrong road and could use an encouraging word.

As I have grown older, I clearly understand that the quiet reflective moments I didn’t understand or appreciate then, I trusted my grandmother’s advice to “keep living” and now see them for the treasures they are.

Thirdly, as March roars in, see more than what your eyes can show you. Celebrate your life and Women’s History Month by honoring the phenomenal women in your life and in your community. Remember to graciously accept the praise and accolades that come your way and be proud that your life has had meaning.

Practice asking for help and understand this is an exciting and troublesome time to be alive. Technology makes life easier but easy probably shouldn’t be our ultimate goal if we lose ourselves and our children to addiction and neglect. Our eyes tell us that this is progress but it will be critical to remember the lessons of respect, adventure, courtesy, courage, and sacrifice that brought us to here. This extra day in February is a gift—let’s treat it as such and create new possibilities.

Share your thoughts on planning for the extra day at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

Here’s What We Need to Know and Do

Boy Scouts of America

As an official optimist, it broke my heart to hear that the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy this week after a barrage of sex-abuse cases were filed. I have only positive images of the Scouts through buying popcorn, watching young men grow and go the extra mile to become Eagle Scouts, and being prepared for all sorts of things. Like I said, positive images. They’re as much a part of our culture as Big Mac sandwiches and apple pie so my mind immediately went to all the youngsters who might not get a chance to be transformed and nurtured through this ministry.

Nevertheless, we’re living in a time of great change but things that matter gently remind us that how we love and care for our boys and girls will always be important.  Here’s what I mean:

First, we must see all the people, especially the children. This slogan popped up a couple of years ago from a religious entity to remind us to see all the people around us. The mentoring and adventures offered by the Scouts opened a new world for boys and girls—if the Scouts aren’t around in all the places they’ve been before, we must pick up the slack and move our youngsters forward.

The lessons we must teach include how to win, lose, succeed, and fail. Soul singer William Bell performed at the White House during the Obama Administration and sang his hit “Everybody Loves a Winner,” but the song goes on to say “…but when you lose, you lose alone.” It’s true. We all like to win but we have to know why we lose so that we can learn to win, according to basketball great Michael Jordan.

I believe the Scouts taught youngsters how to brush themselves off when they failed and it’s a lesson we need to learn, too. When everything comes easy for us, we may never have to move from our comfort zone and what we know and trust, thus we may never reach the pinnacle of greatness God intends for us. We all need someone to push, to inspire, to believe in us so we can soar. We are all persons of great worth and to be acknowledged and invested in simply says “I see you and you matter.” We must embrace this scout lesson.

Second, scouts are taught to be the best version of themselves. They’re taught teamwork, friendship, and leadership traits that will keep them focused for life. Imagine what would happen if we all put forth a genuine team effort every time. There would be less crime, fewer homeless veterans, and equity would rule the day. Equity for me means everybody has what they need, when they need it, and they get to keep their dignity.

In scouting, life skills like communication, conflict resolution and perseverance are taught and learned through practice. I’ve never been a scout but I suspect we are all better because someone we know and love was a part of this great organization. I don’t know what will become of it if they survive bankruptcy but I know this: the good they do/have done will linger like a sweet fragrance.

Our hearts go out to the scouts who were harmed by abuse and I pray that those who abused will receive appropriate punishment for the betrayal of this sacred trust.

I’m on my way home Saturday to the W.G. Rhea Public Library, Paris, Tennessee, home of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry—hope to see you there.

Having thoughts on ways to love and care more for our boys and girls? Share with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

Share Your Heart This Valentine’s Day

share your heart

Friday, February 14, Valentine’s Day, is about love and all things heart related. As I listened to the radio today the hosts reminded listeners to remember this important day. They discussed expectations and traditions—chocolates, flowers, and diamonds—that should keep your significant others happy and contented.

I guess this presumes you have someone special to do sweet things for but like the Christmas holiday, this day can be a sad reminder of loss, and unfulfilled hopes and dreams. This year, let’s make this Valentine’s Day a real day of love.

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