“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
As I sat down to write this month’s PPRS column, I stared at the blank page before me and longed for the wisdom and expertise Ken Robinson may have offered in this situation. I felt woefully inadequate as I considered how much better equipped he might be to lead PPRS through this unprecedented time.
Then, I did what I’ve done so many times already this year; I asked myself, “What would Ken do?”
My mind wandered and found the quote above by Viktor Frankl, published in “Man’s Search for Meaning.” As a Holocaust survivor, Frankl knew what it was to live through circumstances beyond his control. Ultimately, he proposed that the last of our freedoms was to choose our attitude – to change one’s self in response to life’s unanticipated events.
So, I cut myself a little bit of slack, as we all should right now. I can’t change our situation and, even if Ken was still alive, neither could he. I must change myself in response to it.
Whether we realize it or not, all of us have found ourselves changing due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are in a situation few of us had ever imagined, overcoming obstacles most of us never anticipated. We will all be changed because of it, and so will the world.
I want to offer you words of comfort and certainty, but there are none right now. I want to set a date for our organization will resume some semblance of normalcy, but I cannot. I want to tell you that I’ll see you soon, but I am not sure I will.
What I can tell you is that PPRS 70th year will not be its last. This organization and all its incredible members will adapt, change and evolve. We are seeking direction from our membership about your preferences in the coming weeks and months. Please take a moment to complete the survey here. Our goal is to be responsive and adaptable. PPRS is built on a strong foundation of dedicated members and I believe we can overcome anything together.
When this crisis subsides, we won’t be the same – we, as individuals, will be better. We will treasure things we used to take for granted. We will seize opportunities. We will have a greater understanding of what truly matters. We will cherish our moments, families and friends.
While we are not able to change this situation, we are changing ourselves. We will emerge from the most life-altering event the world has faced since World War II, and I believe we will emerge stronger.
May health and patience be with you all as we adapt and grow to meet these new uncontrollable obstacles.