April 14, 2020 |

Singularity of Purpose

It’s inspiring to see what America is accomplishing in the face of COVID-19.  One can argue that it’s our most unified, collective action since World War II.  The Federal Government, all 50 State Governments, local governments, American business and the American people are, for the most part, aligned against a common enemy.  We have singularity of purpose.  That purpose is to defeat the Coronavirus, honor the lives that were lost to it, and reclaim the lives that were interrupted because of it.  We are each contributing, be it social distancing, self-quarantine or on the front lines as a healthcare worker or first responder.

There is, and will continue to be plenty of negativity about, well, everything COVID related.  I’ve always been a big believer in Teddy Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” passage from his April, 1910 speech at the Sorbonne in Paris:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

History is being made.  Books will be written.  Movies will be produced.  About this time.  About us. We are all in the arena right now.  We may not agree on the finer points, but we’re pulling the rope in the same direction.  We have, in this moment, singularity of purpose.  It’s a beautiful thing to observe, and a privilege to be a part of.