“These are Times that Try Men’s Souls”
In December 1776 General George Washington and his troops were facing imminent defeat, having been driven out of New York and chased across New Jersey by the British.
Washington had been deserted by Congress and his demoralized, hungry, and ill equipped troops planned to go home in two weeks when their enlistments ran out.
In an inspired move, Washington rounded up his weary soldiers into ranks and had them listen to a stirring message written by Thomas Paine:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summersoldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”*
Thomas Paine’s words had a major impact on Washington’s beleaguered soldiers. A sense of renewed commitment and sacred mission returned to their souls.
Two nights later they crossed the Delaware, caught the British mercenaries completely off guard on a groggy hangover the morning after Christmas Day. Washington captured the whole British contingent of a thousand Hessians without a single American being killed.
The rest, as they say, is History!
We are now facing an equally precarious time in our “history”—one brought about by the unrelenting coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic. And many, if not most, of us are equally dreary, beleaguered, demoralized—and fear driven.
I wish I had some stirring words like Thomas Paine to arouse and inspire you. I clearly don’t. I suffer the same unsettling range of emotions that you likely do.
However, I know that practicing acceptance in the time of coronvirus has helped me cope with the current chaos and uncertainty. It lightens my spirit. It grounds me. It balances me. And it frees me. (See my last post “How The Serenity Prayer Helps Deal with the Coronavirus)
From the tremendous response to that post, I am heartened to learn that it helps others as well. Daily blog visitors have increased more than tenfold. Facebook friends and fans have shared broadly.
I cannot tell you how deeply grateful I am for that. It makes me feel useful and being of service at a time when I so often feel helpless and powerless.
It also motivates me to do and share more about how to practice acceptance and enjoy the many “gifts” that surely follow.
I thus will be offering a short course on “Acceptance in the Time of Coronavirus” through weekly blog posts.
I will share what I know and have experienced first hand, as well as things learned from others, about practicing acceptance–its benefits, keys, challenges, obstacles, catalysts and dynamics.
Although I have extensively written and talked about these subjects before, I will discuss them and others within the context of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. I hope to do so in a personal, everyday sort of way.
Concurrent with that, I have lowered the price of the ebooks for The Gifts of Acceptance and Losing Control, Finding Serenity to $2.99, so that more people will be given the opportunity to read and hopefully learn from them.
So stay tuned for the first session!
In the meantime,
Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!”
*From The Crisis by Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776. His cogent essay is prescient about the politics, public panic, and other aspects of the coronavirus pandemic.
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