This Memorial Day weekend is unlike any we have had in at least the last 100 years (when the world encountered the last major pandemic). The fog of uncertainty is lifting in the U.S. with each passing day as millions get vaccinated. Societal conditions are starting to show signs of something similar to the norms we had 15 months ago. Which means Memorial Day weekend gives us much to celebrate!
As you enjoy making up lost time with friends and family without wearing masks(!), I hope you will allow yourself some quiet time to reflect on the last 12 months. Think back for a moment to this time last year: the fog of the pandemic was thick with no end in sight.
How did you navigate it? What did you focus on?
I use the term “fog” because it is often associated with describing the chaos of a battlefield, i.e., “the fog of war.” Navigating in the fog is akin to how a ship captain navigates the fog at sea: slowdown. That’s what we did as a society. We slowed down, took stock in the situation, and then realized we can still make forward progress. Just because we’re in a fog doesn’t mean we cannot move forward. It means we need to learn new ways of moving forward. If we’re at sea, we use radar, sonar, and GPS to help aid us. Those are man-made navigational instruments.
What do you use to navigate the last 12 months?
I will tell you what I used, the same thing I used as a SEAL Platoon commander or leading my company through unknown times: faith. If we allow ourselves to focus on every negative thing or the limitless possibilities of what “could go wrong,” we get overwhelmed and come to full-stop. It’s the equivalent of a ship’s captain deciding the fog is unnavigable, drops anchor, and doesn’t move. However, if you choose to focus on the opportunities of what the fog brings, then suddenly, the fog doesn’t seem so thick and impenetrable.
Faith, by definition, is having 100% confidence in someone or something other than yourself (see Webster’s dictionary – religious doctrine is the second definition of faith). Whether you knew it or not, you made a judgment call to put your faith in someone (others) and/or something (the Divine perhaps), and you pressed on. That’s what soldiers do on the battlefield. That’s what Americans do when confronted with the unknown. We find others that we believe in, keep them close, keep our focus on what we can do, and keep pressing on. After all, it was only a couple hundred years ago this tiny nation decided to put a whole bunch of faith into fighting for freedom.
This Memorial Day, remember how we got here from a year ago, from 100 years ago and how we will continue to press on in the face of the fog of uncertainty – by keeping the faith. I promise you there will always be another fog bank on the horizon, and how we navigated the last one will be how we navigate future ones. We are more unstoppable together, and our faith in each other and our freedom is the glue that keeps us going.
Enjoy hanging out, hugging those friends and family members, and always remembering the costs this great country has paid for its freedom – God Bless our Troops.
Happy Memorial Day!