Radar and Colonel Potter discussed the problem, calling in Sidney, the psychiatrist, to check over their beloved Hawkeye.
Radar said, “Gee whiz! I thought he was beating back the war.”
“What do you mean?” asked the colonel.
“Well, you know, sir — we all have our way of beating back the war. Hawkeye makes fun of it, you ride your horse and paint. And I have my animals. That’s how we’re beating it back.”
Good old Radar, the homespun philosopher.
Moving from the Korean War to 2020, how are we beating back the war of Covid-19? Can we learn from a TV sitcom how to focus on something besides the bad news and the horrific loss of life?
How can we force ourselves to look for hope?
One of my Saturday Sisters has the gift of encouragement. Our prayer group calls her our CEO — Chief Encouragement Officer. Although her life is far from easy — MS has confined her to a wheelchair — she calls each of us every week, just to check on us.
Her voice always has an upbeat lilt to it, and she often tells a funny story. At the same time, she listens to my complaints and empathizes.
But she uses her gift to share hope and help me believe this pandemic is only temporary. “Until we meet again,” she often signs off.
Many Americans planted gardens this year: veggies, flowers, natural grasses. Although my veggies are starting to look heat-afflicted, it has brought joy to clip flowers for a pretty vase, munch on my blueberries and plan for next year’s bounty.
Music settles both my son and me. Read the post about how Caleb returned to his drums. Whether it’s his electronic drum set, my piano or the streaming version of Hamilton, the joy of melodies and lyrics help us forget about illness and global chaos.
Every writer knows the escape valve of reading. My royalties have jumped up during these days of Covid-19. Being on Lockdown with time to spare has brought a resurgence of Kindle and print books. I suppose when all this mess is over, Amazon and online bookstores will have weathered it well.
Since I write about hope, I try to focus on the future. The joy we will feel when the evening news reports no new cases of Covid. The fun we will have meeting together again and creating our new normal. The multiple stories and memoirs of how we helped one another through this crisis.
And we have good precedent in finding such hope: World War I had its Armistice Day. The 1918 flu pandemic was followed by The Roaring Twenties. The wilderness travels of the Israelites ended in the Promised Land.
Faith also helps me beat back the war. I believe this mess is indeed temporary, one of the contractions of end times. At some point, God will say, “Enough!” and the enemy’s power will be deleted. I pray for that moment every day.
If we focus on our individual ways for beating back this war, we can find a sliver of hope to carry us through.
Whether it’s encouragements from others, gardens, music, reading, an intentional focus on a better future or faith — we can do this well. We can overcome the emotional and mental stress of this crisis.
So how are you dealing with it? How are you beating back this war?
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
For a book of essays about hope, check out Hope Shines – available on Amazon, Kindle and in Large Print.