in the squeeze

If you take an orange and squeeze it, what comes out?

Orange juice, right? Because that’s what is inside an orange. So what happens when you’re under the squeeze? What comes out when you’re under pressure?

I am seeing strengths and weaknesses at my house. The primary emotion around here is gratitude. All day long everyone is talking about how grateful they are that we are safe, that we’re together, that we have plenty to do, that we have food…I’m seeing so much creativity and cooperation, compassion, love and laughter.

Yes, I’ve heard stories of cruelty and selfishness, but I’m seeing SO much goodness. I’m hearing about people looking out for their neighbors, offering food and supplies to strangers, sharing jokes and resources online… My house is bursting with creativity and humor– cooking, games, movie making. Yes, there are arguments, but I’m amazed at the ready apologies and easy forgiveness.

But I’ve also recognized real weaknesses in myself. I’ve caught myself speaking a little bit sharper than I intended (especially the day of the earthquake!) and I’ve noticed my brain really thinks eating junk food would make me feel better right now.

I’ve been doing strength workouts with Mary and I’ve been surprised to find how weak I really am. I’m realizing my workouts the past several months have been easy and fun, but I’m not growing. I’m not getting stronger and I need that strength. During our workouts, Mary corrects me and helps me. It’s very humbling, but essential for my growth.

Of all the virtues, humility reigns as the most important right now. Humility at home, humility in our relationships and especially humility in our society. If each person recognizes they are no better than anyone else, if people take precautions, if people set aside their ego and follow rules they don’t believe apply to them, we can save lives.

If we can be humble and gracious in the grocery stores, everyone will have enough food. If we humbly give as much as we can to those who are out of work, people will still have a roof over their head. If we can be humble and gentle at home our relationships will thrive.

I’m under no illusion this will be the last time we face international crisis– as families we need each other more than ever. We need kindness, creativity, compassion and forgiveness. We’re going to make mistakes, personally and as a society. Bump and bruises and a few scrapes are part of the ride.

But let’s stay in this ride together. And let’s do it with humility and compassion.

p.s. the best thing we’ve done for our family is create a new mini-course Communication Mastery. It’s packed with 35 tools to help you master communication in your family. We’re using every tool every single day right now. The course is $49 and we are donating 100% to families who can’t pay their rent right now. You can learn more here.

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