One of the speaking programs I used to do was titled, “Where Do Diamonds Come From? A Lump of Coal and a Lot of Pressure.” The inspiration for the title of the program came from an old television series, The Adventures of Superman, that ran in the 1950s. People of a certain age – meaning my age or older – will remember the many episodes in which Superman took a piece of coal, squeezed it, and opened his hand to reveal a sparkly diamond.
The main point of my program was that the devastating events in our lives – accidents, illness, the loss of a spouse or child, or of a job or home – can paralyze or defeat us, but they can also teach, help, and strengthen us. They can give us stamina, skills, courage, and confidence we didn’t have before. Or didn’t know we had until they were tested.
I think that’s where we are right now. “A lump of coal” is probably the kindest phrase I could use to describe the coronavirus, and there seems to be no end to the pressures and problems we are experiencing now because of it.
In some ways, it’s already hard to remember what life was like before coronavirus. And it’s still going to be a while before we’re looking at it in hindsight. But that time will come, and when it does, we will be stronger than we were before. We will be smarter than we were before. We will be more careful about some things that we never even thought about before. And I hope and pray we will all be more thoughtful, more considerate, and more compassionate than we were before. Toward others, and toward ourselves.
When that happens, we will shine like the diamonds we have become.
April 3, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020
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