Coping in Trying Times

Coping in Trying Times

Understatement alert.

It's already been a long year, and we're not quite halfway through it.

Pandemic. Social Distance. Masks. Quarantine. Work from home. We've added a lot of words to our popular discourse this year.

And now, unfortunately again, we see the pain and suffering wrought by hundreds of years of inequality and injustice. We are confronted by humanity's unique ability to identify our differences and use them for division, rather than to celebrate the expanse of our human experience that we share with every person and use our shared humanity as fertile common ground in which to plant seeds of understanding.

Our hearts break when we learn of tragedies that we can't make sense of. How does a young, healthy person who seems perfectly healthy today, suddenly fall ill and die? Why is yet another person of color dying in police custody? Why are protestors who want justice committing crimes against their own neighbors? How long are we going to have to keep our elders locked away in an effort to protect them from illness?

As I ponder these things and try to find my own way to cope, I'm reminded of lessons I learned in Mrs. Redfield's AP English classes. She dropped a very large rock in what was then a very shallow pool. The ripples continue to roll around in me.

One lesson that resurfaces at times like these centered on "hope". While the particular literary vehicles that were used to deliver the message are now lost to me, the takeaway remains. Mrs. Redfield pointed out how a character's loss of hope often resulted in their ultimate failure. Various characters either perished, or they failed in their heroic endeavor, or some tragedy befell them, but the point was that throughout literary history, maintaining hope was a key to maintaining life.

Mental health professionals already see many warning signs that our tumultuous spring is impacting our mental well-being. We don't need a degree to sense that something is "off" in life, though. Every week somebody on our Sticky Toffee team remarks about the added stress of life, not just for us but in the world we see around us. Yet we remain hopeful for a brighter future and a better tomorrow. How can we make that happen?

We intentionally design with an eye toward helping our customers spread joy and love, hope and happiness. We choose understanding over intolerance. We choose love over hate. We choose a positive message over a sarcastic comment. We remind you to enjoy the journey. It is our goal to help you make your home a refuge in these trying times.

Making sense of all that is going on will take a lot of people a long time. You and I may not be able to sort all of it out. But I can listen to what you have to say, try to see your point of view, and allow your struggles to inform how I react in the future to somebody who is different from me.

I still have hope that tomorrow will be better than today. I hope you do, too.

President of Sticky Toffee Operations