• Sunday, August 9, 2020
May 12, 2020

What If?

It’s an interesting time that we’re living in, and this pandemic is unique, unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Whereas September 11th, the blackout of 2003, and Hurricane Sandy were short-term events that brought people immediately together, this is different. I always say that when you travel with someone, you see inside that person’s soul. I can now say that when you go through a global pandemic, you see a person’s soul, but magnified. These are unusual times that we’re living in, and it’s right about now – at that 60-day mark – that we’re seeing who people really are and learning what we’re made of.

For every person hoarding paper products, stockpiling yeast (come on people), and buying enough refrigerators to solve the food crisis in Africa, there are those who are rising to the occasion in ways that just make your heart sing. I think of restauranteurs José Andrés and Gabe Stulman, who are in one of the hardest hit industries but are still giving resources they barely have to feed frontline workers. Gabe just wrote a piece on how his group will have to file for bankruptcy if landlords don’t provide some sort of rent concessions, but yet there he is, doing what he can to help our medical professionals who are the superheroes saving lives. On a smaller scale, but equally impactful, I think of my friend Viola, a 78-year-old woman who has been homeless for the past 10 years, wiped out by medical bills from her cancer that came back 1 ½ years ago. Not only has she somehow survived this crazy time, but she has done so with such grace and kindness. She has been a fixture on the corner of 60th and Broadway, always smiling and offering comfort to those who stop by to talk to her, myself included. She’s even offered me her umbrella when it’s raining. If that’s not a window into a soul, I don’t know what is.

What if we made this global pause a time that we emerge from as better people? What if we found happiness in our overwhelming work and family commitments because we got to spend time that we’ll never get again with our families and friends, even though it might be via virtual happy hours and large Zoom calls? What if we woke up in the morning, and instead of extracting value out of those around us, we added that value to our interactions? What if we messaged a friend at the start of the week to ask if that person needed anything? What if we gave without expecting in return? If we did all these things, the possibilities for our world would be endless. So let's do this.  Let's make this world a better place. 

Christine Drinan
Founder and Editor-in-chief