Dating during a pandemic is hard. Whether single or married, COVID-19 makes relationships of all shapes and sizes challenging. Some of us are hungering to be held, while others are hankering for some space from our pandemic-bubbled spouse/partner/parent. Nerves are frayed; anxiety and depression are rearing their ugly heads in the wake of uncertainty.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Texans—myself included—were hit with an unprecedented cold front in February. Some lost power; some lost water; some lost both; some experienced broken pipes and utter destruction of their homes. Now there was COVID and a lack of heat, water, electricity.
A person’s character under stress is like a developing photograph in a dark room: the truth of who a person is, a person’s substance is revealed through adversity. That adversity can be physical, mental or spiritual. Regardless of the flavor of one’s challenge, how we respond makes all the difference.
I look at Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture. Every day and night, McIngvale opened the doors to his furniture stores, offering anyone who didn’t have food, shelter, heat or water to come by his store and stay as long as they needed. So much generosity—during a pandemic of all times—is a compassionate choice. He didn’t need a reason to open his heart and his stores to the public, 24/7; he didn’t need to excuse or rationalize his decision to be generous and kind. One never needs a reason to be thoughtful nor search for an excuse to defend it.
Yet when we consider Senator Ted Cruz and his impromptu getaway to Mexico, we can literally hear Cruz rationalize, offering the public a reason for his Cancun trip in the midst of an unprecedented winter storm in the state he represents: He decided to fly out to the Ritz Carlton in Cancun because he wanted to be “a good dad.” (www.cbsnews.com) His wife, Heidi Cruz, also reasoned their escape from Houston because their house was “FREEZING.”
But a reason is not an excuse. A reason is a cleverly disguised rationalization for behavior that we know is skewed from our moral compass. Reason lulls us into justifying actions that we know deep down aren’t good for us.
One unprecedented storm, two public figures. Their reaction to the same events couldn’t be more different. We are all going to face storms in our lives—metaphorical or literal. It’s up to each of us to consider our reactions, our actions under duress. When we make the choice to live by our inner compass, we won’t feel compelled to reason.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to Jim McIngvale for opening your heart and doors to Texas. Thank You for bolstering our state’s character and compassion.