Series Intro: Empowerment, Resiliency, and Connection Amid Crisis

By Angelica Lohr, EdS | April 15, 2020

…The world is on fire, or so it seems.

A cacophony of voices, surging through chaos…

Where do we go? What do we do?

How do we hold on to that which truly matters, when the routine that we know falls apart? If life seems a bit overwhelming right now, you’re not alone.  All across the globe, people are struggling in the midst of a pandemic.  For many, the disruptions to daily life are rough and difficult to navigate.  Adapting to abrupt change is…. well, many things.  Fear, anxiety, anger- all are natural responses to uncertainty and trauma.

We are physically isolated, and yet craving community more than ever.  How do we find, and keep, the connections that truly matter?

Fifteen years ago, my son struggled through childhood cancer.  I’ll never forget the moment I heard the diagnosis. Life ground to a halt. Nothing outside of that singularity existed; everything else became abstraction. The sun did not shine; the world was ending and there was no way out.

…I believed I would never laugh again.

In those moments of grief and loneliness, even in despair, there is a savage and raw joy.  This is the resilience of the soul as we keep moving.  It may not be one step at a time; it may be a clenched fist as we drag and crawl our way forward. The ability to survive, and even thrive, in the midst of unspeakable hardship is what makes us beautifully “human.”. 

Life in threadbare seams is the human spirit, and essence, distilled.

What remains is the critical element at our core:  the drive to provide meaningful, purpose-driven help to friends, communities, and strangers to propels us ahead. This is the time where we, as a collective momentum of humanity—the gathered power of all voices—dig deep.  We must harness our grit and tap into our organic resolve to move ahead with relentless forward motion.

Every action matters; each choice counts.  This is the time when making a real difference, means everything.

The meaning is you.

The potential: LIMITLESS.

(I did laugh again, and my son lived.  We will prevail in these times, as well.)

In Solidarity,

Angelica Lohr is a Manager in Walden’s Center for Academic Excellence. As a teacher for nearly 15 years, Angelica worked with students managing every conceivable life scenario in the midst of school, and is perpetually inspired by the indomitable force of the human spirit. “For me, “changemaking” is personal. My son’s battle to overcome childhood cancer inspires me daily, and I believe we, as individuals, have the ability to empower the people around us each and every day. Changemaking isn’t a singular action, it’s a holistic mindset.”

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