Leader – Ask Why is this Happening FOR me?


I’m becoming like my old man who couldn’t assemble anything physical but loved to take words apart and put them back together. I wish I’d taken Greek as he had in seminary, and that I had paid closer attention during Latin class.

I was wondering about Covid-19….We all know that “co” means “together” or “with,” right?

And “vid?”  Well, here’s the etymology from Wiktionary:

From Proto-Indo-Aryan *wayd-, from Proto-Indo-Iranian *wayd-, from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (“to know”). Cognate with Latin vidi (“to see”), Ancient Greek οἶδα (oîda, “to know”).

So, Co = together and Vid = to see or know.  Co-vid:  to see together or know together.

Here’s what I invite you to see-together:  Covid-19

What I am seeing is that this is another instance for me, and I suspect for the great us – greater than the great U.S. – to ask not “why is this happening to me/us, but why is this happening for me/us?”

I encourage asking the question on both levels, Personal and Collective.

Personal. For EACH of us, Covid-19 means we see disruption, a slower pace, and uncertainty.  If each of us shifts from “happening to me” to “happening for me,” we can immediately, or better yet, s – l – o – w – l – y realize, that disruption, a slower pace and uncertainty may be the “drug” each of us needs.  I know that for me the last 20 years have been pace, pace, and faster pace:  work more, earn more, buy more, worry more, spend more, do more. I came down with Bells Palsy two months ago, and it has taken that virus to FORCE me to do what I’ve been telling myself to do for years now: slow down.  The gifts of a slower pace just keep falling in my lap. I hope for a little of the same for you.  Words that reflect my slowed experience include:  ease, savor, wait, listen, appreciate, indulge, forgive, apologize, nap, play, and walk-don’t-run!

Collective. (There’s that “co” or “col” prefix again).  Together. Globally so, a Pan-demic. Together we are aware of the most vulnerable among us! The aged. The ill. Those on the street. The children who don’t have computers. The people who don’t have savings. Those far from home. The stranded. The stranger. Will we (co-vid): SEE together?

In Christianity, this is the time of Lent.  In the old Catholicism, we “gave things up.” So many of us have quit doing that, and quit remembering WHY we did that.  Now, this is perhaps not just happening to us but for us.  Now, we can sacrifice, rather than hoard; hear, rather than hurry; and reach beyond our own little selves, to feel others’ hurts.

Maybe it’s a wonderful chance for leaders of all stripes to quiet down and reflect – to pray, to meditate perhaps, or fast, and open your heart and mind to ask what it means in this time, to

Lead with your best self.