The pivotal role in society played by healthcare workers, grocery and pharmacy employees, scientists and academia, manufacturing and logistics, drivers, public and government workers, lab technicians, cleaning and maintenance staff has never been more apparent. These are people we didn’t always think about or appreciate as much as we do now. Hopefully they feel the appreciation we have for them now more than ever. They are giving new meaning for what it means to be on the front line.

We’ve gotten a collective wake-up call on how connected we are to each other. We are opening our hearts and minds, sharing our resources, sharing our knowledge, supplying food to front line workers and food banks, and donating time, money, and services to our friends, family, and strangers.

My hope and vision for the future is that we continue to live this level of service and connection and communication. Whether we’re providing service or in need of it, we affect each other, we need each other, and we are – and have always been – in this together. Here’s what we know and are (re)learning:

This is our nature. We humans are by our nature social, relational, and connected. We definitely know how to be social. We know how to rely on each other. We know how to bring our skills and talents to the group. We jump in and share our knowledge and know how. We unite over necessity, music and stories, laughter and tears, sorrow and grief, and a shared vision for a bright future.  We do this naturally.

Hardwired to help. We are hardwired to help. We want to ask and be asked for help and be able to provide that help and pay it forward. Asking and providing help strengthens and satisfies our relatedness to each other. So, ask for help. Don’t threaten, belittle or demand help. On the other hand, don’t make us beg for help. We connect over help. We know how to help each other. Be gracious in asking, providing, and receiving help.

Motivated by appreciation and gratitude. The people we are grateful for were always worth our gratitude. Let’s not take anyone for granted any longer. There are all kinds of ways to express and receive appreciation and gratitude – how we look at each other, the words and tone of voice we use, thoughtful gifts, acts of kindness, standing ovations, paying it forward, and when we can get back to it, grateful hugs.

Let’s do what we do naturally and stay in this together.