We’ve all seen the meme in the last few weeks: “Your grandparents went to war. You’re being asked to sit on your couch. You can do it.”
I am knee-deep in rearranging my life, and yet this is what keeps popping into my head. I won’t ever minimize the sacrifices of my war-serving, medal-earning grandfathers because those were significant moments in history.
But let’s also quit minimizing what’s being asked of us now.
We’re asking teachers to recreate the love, security, and curriculum of their entire classrooms into online learning environments.
We’re asking entire generations of children and teenagers to miss out on major life milestones.
We’re asking parents to find ways to feed their children with no income and little hope.
We’re asking our medical communities—doctors, nurses, and first responders—to put themselves directly in front of the threat, sometimes with nothing more than a reused mask and a can-do attitude.
We’re asking those same people to face deciding who lives and who dies and then to stand there and hold a hand when no one else is left.
We’re asking those same people to go home to their children, strip naked in their garages, and find a way to quiet the nightmares.
We’re asking children of these heroes not to hug their parents, their biggest source of comfort, or risk contamination.
We’re asking entire industries to change their productions and their processes to help serve their communities.
We’re asking truckers to haul faster and longer without food or rest so that new moms can find diapers and formula for their babies.
We are asking so much more of our families, our children, our neighbors, and our country than to just sit down.
We’re asking them to stand up and unify, in a way not seen since 9/11. To find a way to come together, while remaining apart. We are all being asked every day for something greater than sitting on our couches.
Let’s not pretend this isn’t history, too.