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Keeping a Spirit of Unity in the Uncertainty

Updated: May 25, 2021


By Angela Pope A thought-provoking video, titled “Keep Thriving,” was released this week by Grit Media, featuring Charlotte business leaders Mark Linsz and Sarah Ingle, and local pastor Mark Upton. It took me back to the state of the world just after 9/11/2001; I was pregnant and working in national traveling advertising at The Charlotte Observer. We were surrounded by news coverage of what was the biggeand most tragic news of our lifetime. Our lives changed instantly, and we relied on those immediately surrounding us for support like never before.

I feared what life would be like for my unborn child and I wondered if the U.S. would remain as safe or free as it had been. Our jobs changed, our sense of security wavered and our fears increased.

During that time, we also witnessed great courage among first-responders, citizens, government, faith leaders, family, neighbors and friends. They were the sources of community, hope and light leading us to a new day. This strengthened sense of community reliance is referred to as interdependence in the “Keep Thriving” video.

Nineteen years later, our daughter is a high school senior. As she and her peers prepared for many of life’s best moments; graduation, performances, banquets, tournaments, proms, weddings and other celebrations, all are now put on hold, or canceled and many people are experiencing the same anxiety we did in 2001.

I am no longer in news media. This time around, I am a small business owner of a marketing agency helping my clients navigate change and adapt their operations and tone in the face of these new challenges. The world has and continues to change quickly, and the future seems uncertain.

Our community is relying on critical interdependence but in different and more innovative ways this time through technology, video and virtual connectivity. Groceries, meals and many other goods are being ordered online and received by delivery or shipment. Elderly and sick are only able to connect in some cases through closed windows, and many are dying alone, as the virus threatens others who come near.

Health care workers and first-responders are putting their lives on the line to help, comfort and save others. Educators, community, friend, family, business leaders, and business owners are all learning new ways to engage from a distance. Because 80 to 90% of the U.S. is shutdown or in quarantine some families are spending more time together than ever while others struggle to be in constant contact.

While we weather the uncertainty, there is hope in newness of life as seasons change and the earth fills with color and natural beauty.

The birth of babies continues to bring joy along with some of the same uncertainty that I felt 18 years ago on 9/11/2001. In some cases, husbands are not allowed in delivery rooms and in most cases, no other family member is allowed to be at the hospital to await births.

As I reflect on this unprecedented situation, it calls me to be more prayerful, cautious and patient. I do believe that the more we seek to appreciate others and their circumstances we will be a blessing to each other. From a distance, we can continue to support each other, continue patronizing local businesses and offer companionship to those individuals needing an afternoon phone call. With each action we take we not only survive but we help our community to Keep Thriving. Together we are stronger, and our community will overcome this together in unity.

Angela Pope owns CSB - Creating Strategic Brands

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