On American soil last weekend, there was bloodshed. This was followed by clashes and cheers over toppled war monuments. Through every hour, you’ve heard the terms
“racist,” “nationalist,” and “murder” being hurled like hand grenades.
Also, in Sierra Leone, a horrific mudslides claimed the lives of an estimated 300 people. Lives were literally swept away, neighborhoods have been destroyed, and mourners are devastated.
Depending on the situation, many of us have agreed to pray, expose the identities of demonstrators, donate funds, or do whatever we deem to necessary to get involved.
But, you know what else is a good idea, too? Rest.
It’s a counter-intuitive move in times like this, I know, but there’s a strategic reason for this. Many of you have jobs, side businesses, school-age or smaller children, an elderly relative that requires care, and so on. Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase, “Only the strong survive.” The strong also have to know when and where to invest their energy, even when they feel like screaming.
Some of you may be wondering, “Well, how can I rest at a time like this?”
The same way you and millions of others have before: you sit down for a moment. You determine what needs your immediate attention, what can wait, and what may not require your involvement at all. Another suggestion: turn off the distractions (translation: stay off of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat for a day or at least several hours). Do a quick estimate of how much time you’ve spent battling with those who have opposing viewpoints to yours, reading every news update, and scrolling through the comment feed on other people’s pages.
Please note that I’m not suggesting how you should feel about any current events. I am suggesting that you don’t lose your head, any clients or, if you’re employed, your job over what you might post on social media or do to someone else in person. Find a way to channel your anger or frustration into something positive that has long-term effects. A few ideas include:
- For entrepreneurs, give a small scholarship, cash reward, etc. to a local high school student who writes the best essay on how to inspire societal change your area
- Volunteer at a community outreach event that takes you out of your comfort zone yet provides important benefits to those it’s designed to serve
- Contribute to relief efforts in Sierra Leone by giving time or a monetary donation to a house or worship or nonprofit organization connected to the cause
Being a part of modern society means exposure to a 24-hour news cycle.
That’s both informative and overwhelming.
To protect your energy and ensure your professional efforts, turn the TV or cell phone alerts off.
Let your mind rest.
Afterwards, rise up, choose the initiative(s) that most concern you, and get to work.