Each of us in this Covid-19 crisis has a job to do. Educators. Politicians. Mothers. Children. Engineers. Clergy. Artists. Journalists. Doctors. Nurses. Bankers. Sanitation workers. Chefs. Lawyers. And it’s not our job to try and do someone else’s job right now. My friend Ed Lang, in his own update to his school, recently said, “There is no situation so bad that you can’t make it worse.” This is precisely correct. There is no situation so bad that it couldn’t get worse, especially if we decided to do things in that situation that are not ours to do.
I suspect one of the things that will irritate and inflame the moment more than anything is the apparent need for people to do someone else’s job. Grandmothers become overnight journalists on social media. Engineers become political commentators and economists. Teachers become (worse) grumblers. Clergy try and become political reformers. Students become monks.
This is the kind of moment in our history when the house is in particular crisis mode, and while you may not like or agree with what the leaders of the house are doing, they are doing it, and they are the leaders, and so long as it is not obviously and clearly unethical, then each of us ought to do our jobs, we ought to do the work God has called us to do in order to maintain good health and order amidst a disorderly and unhealthy time. Do not begrudge the moment that you cannot do enough because you are not a healthcare worker. The moment does not call for everyone to be a healthcare worker. The moment calls for everyone to love their neighbor, in the way God has called you to love them. Melchizedek didn't become a soldier. For some, loving your neighbor will be going to your banking job and pushing out those small business loans. For others it will be sitting in front of a computer with a class full of third graders and reciting a poem.
If you are a revolutionary and a critic by nature, calm your revolt and don’t look for little things to critique, even if you are right, and especially if they are not in your realm of work. Stay in your realm of work and do that well. Put your energy there.
If are a pacifist or tend to clam up in times like these, realize you are needed somewhere and by someone. What work has God given you to do outside of a crisis? Go there, and see how you can be of assistance during a crisis.
Lincoln said that a house divided cannot stand. It is also true that a house disordered cannot stand. Don’t despise your father or mother during a time of crisis, even if you don’t really like how well they’re handling it. Do your job, and be ready to provide a clear and appropriate evaluation later, even if that includes evaluating by your wallet and vote.
I am an educator, so I offer this brief word of advice to each of us, and now I go off to read, write, answer emails, and teach online classes.