Waiheke, Aotearoa New Zealand

March 29, 2020

Be Strong. Be Kind.

Here in New Zealand, lockdown life is well underway, and life sounds different. More birds. Fewer cars. Even out here, on a little island, things are even calmer than before. The quiet of night lasts most of the day. The stars spin. Clouds wander. Air rolls through, over, past.

I am incredibly lucky to be here - not just on this island, but in New Zealand. I have never seen a government handle a crisis so effectively, so clearly, and so obviously and honestly on behalf of its people.

The communication has been so good that after this has all passed, I may try to track down who has been writing all the communications. They're clear, beautiful, purposeful writing - and I want to read whatever else this person is writing for fun.

But threaded through every speech, publication, and emergency text message notice is one thread:

Be Strong. Be Kind.

And if I'm honest - it makes me a little teary-eyed. If there was an ethos to get us all through it, it's wrapped up in those four words.

One of the great joys of these crazy times for me is seeing how be strong, be kind seems just typically human. Even places typically filled with yelling and arguments like twitter or youtube are now full of people just being nice. Creators are putting up something so folks have things to watch, and in response, comments are grateful for the efforts, instead of picking fights. People are singing from balconies. 3D printing masks for hospitals. Making hilarious videos to cheer us up on TikTok and Douyin.

It reminds me that the idea of a human family is real. Yes, we bicker and argue and fight about things constantly. But when there's an external danger, something coming after us, we band together, take care of each other, and act for the greater good.

This, too, is humanity. Strong. Kind.

Have a connected week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week (amongst real competition) was this hilarious and fun video by the amazing Physics Girl - who does 20 experiments at home in 5 minutes.

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