Benjamin Haas |

There is a young gentleman I know from church, who works as a cashier in the Ace Hardware store I go to. He stands behind a newly constructed plexiglass barrier. He wears a mask now. I presume under the mask he has the same smile he always has. We always exchange pleasantries as he rings up my purchases.

“How are things? Living the dream?” I would ask.

He’d always have that big smile, chuckle a bit and say “yeah.”

This last weekend I went for mulch. I asked him again.

“Still living the dream?” He smirked.

I didn’t try to make additional small talk this time. “All of this have you worried?”

It’s hard to make small talk when the world feels heavy right now.

He paused and shrugged and said “This is my job.”

I’ve known him since he was a small kid. He didn’t seem young and inexperienced anymore. He didn’t say it confidently, but it’s as if he had said “This is the job, I show up and I do it.” His statement was matter of fact, full of honor and full of courage. There’s honor and courage for everyone showing up and doing their job these days, no matter WHAT the job. There are over 36 million people who would give anything right now to show up and do the job. And now business owners and employees are dealing with broken stores, let alone coronavirus fears.

We all have to hope and pray and believe we will get to a place where things turn, where our actions of social distancing create the safety that allows business to reopen and recover and where our kindness and sense of community break through the feeling and reality of certain divisions. We all have to hope and pray that those who can preserve, protect and rebuild our neighborhoods will be able to do so. As a community, we need to lift each other up, build each other up, and come together to fight this pandemic and divide.

So, my word of the week is “Together.” We are not going through any of this alone.

There are opportunities in each community to help:

  • Together we donate to food charities
  • Together we support local restaurants and local businesses
  • Together we can exchange kind words and lift each other up, regardless of our politics, backgrounds, experiences – it doesn’t matter how we got here – only that we are in it, together
  • Together we can help by being responsible in our actions
  • Together we can help by being a friend to someone who may be struggling or feeling left out

When my wife and I talked yesterday with heavy hearts, we asked ourselves, “what is there to do?” When it feels like there isn’t much, just start by being kind. I’ll end with wise words from a former President who knew a thing or two about fear and division.

“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out.”

– Abraham Lincoln

The Haas Financial group is here. Ready, willing, and able to serve anyone who feels they need help navigating these trying times.

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