The Importance of Grit

July 29, 2020

Our lives have changed a lot in the last four months. A year that started out with such optimism took a sudden turn when COVID-19 emerged in Kansas City. We’re all still trying to make sense of this new reality where we’re spending more time at home and away from our friends and family. We’re all growing weary and we wish life could get back to the way it used to be. But as Wyandotte County experiences another increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19, it’s important for us to realize that this virus likely isn’t going to go away anytime soon. This virus is new and unpredictable. It will take a while to fully understand what needs to happen to get the virus under control. While we all worry about our physical well-being, we also need to focus on our emotional well-being.

Over the past few months, there has been one word that I keep coming back to when I think about weathering this COVID-19 storm: Grit. Having grit means being courageous, having endurance and being resilient. This community has grit. We don’t succumb to hardships. We stand up, dust ourselves off and lean on those closest to us for support as we push forward. At both the individual and community level, we are strong.

Strength comes from having a solid support system. During times like these, we need to utilize our support systems. Talk to someone about your fears. Talk about how you’re doing. And check on the people you care about and see how they’re doing. Now is the time for empathy and grace. Now is the time to lean in. We may not always be able to be physically be together, but we can still support each other and lift each other up.

We’re all coping with the trauma brought on by COVID-19. We’ve all lost something, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the loss of stability and routine. It’s important for all of us to find healthy ways to cope and re-energize ourselves. We need to be taking care of ourselves, body and mind. We need to be talking to others for support. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Go for a walk. Listen to music. Whatever works for you. And if you think you need more help, reach out. 

It may take a while, but this storm will pass. For now, find your support system. Find your grit. And let’s all keep moving forward, together.

Randy Callstrom