If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s how resilient we can become when we need to be.
In our work lives, personal lives, business lives, the way forward has been marked by our ability to shift from a defensive crouch to a defiant stance ready to take on the world and everything it’s throwing at us.
Still, for all the bravado, it’s been pretty remarkable just how many punches a lot of people have had to roll with since the pandemic upended what we thought of as normal. And yet, people have rolled, and done so under some really challenging circumstances in the 365 days since our world became remote.
Consider what one of our teammates wrote about his own separation from his family at the outset of the pandemic because they were on separate continents when travel restrictions were suddenly imposed.
“There’s an old poem by Faiz that says –
‘My heart hasn’t lost hope, it’s just a fight today, that’s all. The night of suffering lengthens, but it’s just a night, that’s all.’
In 2020, I learned to not let circumstances take control but instead focus on things I can control. And like Faiz says, there will be days when struggle will be real and long but it will pass, that’s all.”
True, indeed, but still challenging when your six-month-old son is thousands of miles away. We’re glad to report that they were reunited, but there were months where it wasn’t clear when they would be.
Others have suffered, as well, unable to visit dear family at the end of their lives because of the virus, losing family and friends to the disease, coming down with Covid themselves, family disruptions, or debilitating mental health challenges.
One teammate wrote on our internal blog about her husband’s struggle with suicide early on in the lockdown. Thankfully, she was able to help him reach out for help.
“Although we still struggle with anxiety and depression, especially during the winter months, with help we have learned some great tools and have made a lot of progress,” she wrote. “It can be uncomfortable to talk about or listen to someone’s pain. Often people want to talk only about the positive side to a story. Please stop invalidating your or anyone else’s trauma because it wasn’t “as bad” as it could have been, or as someone else’s. It’s not a competition. Be kind to yourself and to each other. Ask for help.”
That is advice we’ve heard frequently throughout this long ordeal: A sharing of someone’s own experience as a way to offer guidance to others about how to deal with it.
“If anyone reading this is going through their own battles and are struggling like I was, please reach out for help if you haven’t,” another teammate wrote. “We are worth it. We deserve happiness. Better days are coming. And there are people out there willing to help who want to see us thrive. And remember, just because someone seems ‘ok,’ they might just be putting on that façade because they don’t want to seem crazy, or broken.”
Our CEO, Mehran Assadi, shared his own post with employees. Just like the rest of us, he’s been stuck at home, conducting meetings and business via videoconference and dealing with family issues, too.
And he’s also taking inspiration and learned a lot from what employees have shared with one another.
“Together, as families and teammates, we are all learning just how resilient we can be,” he wrote. “Rediscovery is part of that learning.”
This idea of resilience, of finding the silver lining in what has been a season filled with clouds, has been particularly remarkable. But particularly human, too.
Maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise, just heartening that we have such a capacity to adapt and reinvent.