all of the selves we Have ever been
Most of us never imagined
that we would be called upon to help save the world.
Saving the word is the work of superheroes in distinctive, trademarked costumes, of servicemen and women in camouflage, or first responders wearing helmets and holsters.
But there are no uniforms or badges for this call of duty. We do not fight fire with fire. We fight tiny with tiny.
A microscopic organism has set the world aflame. Now, it is all about the significance of small things.
The things we once took for granted are now our strongest weapons.
Small acts of kindness are the droplets joining to become the rushing force of water through a fire hose. We de-rail the movement of the enemy by keeping our hands from our faces, washing those hands, and staying home. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has become a short phone call to a lonely neighbor, a call that can be lifesaving.
We understand rationing and are grateful for small amounts—a couple of bucks set aside in the cookie jar, a few rolls of toilet paper in the closet, a palm-sized bottle of hand-sanitizer in a purse, a single, old bandanna covering a mouth.
Though all of my needs are met, I admit to moments of battle fatigue. In those twitchy moments of impatience, I reflect on the past world wars and remember the veterans and Holocaust survivors I have known. They remind me that the world is not saved by superheroes, and small is not the opposite of greatness. Their lives and history tell me that greatness is the result of small—the accumulation of small acts carried out by masses of ordinary people who dug deep and stayed the course. So, today, despite my weariness, I re-commit to do my part one day at a time. I will join the war effort like they did—because it is the right thing to do. And I will do it for them because they saved the world for me.