The Human Spirit

Last weekend, I visited my daughter in Southern California, right in the middle of some of the most stringent COVID restrictions in the country. Businesses are hurting. Their business models destroyed. Layoffs and permanent closures at every turn.

What I didn’t expect, though, was to be inspired. And inspired, I was! At every turn, the human spirit was apparent. Business owners were determined to make the best of it, to stay afloat, to keep their employees employed…to survive.

We walked past a nail salon that couldn’t invite patrons inside. They had set up tables and chairs on the sidewalk, and all the equipment needed to do one’s nails. Extension cords flowed from inside the building. All these temporary “work stations” were fully functional and filled with customers.

Next, we found ourselves looking for a restaurant. This wasn’t easy, as all restaurants in the region are prohibited from serving in their dining rooms. Many have built platforms going from the restaurant buildings out toward the street and placed tables, appropriately spaced, to meet government guidelines. This “new” style of restaurant was everywhere, some operating with tables under tents in parking lots. All of the surviving restaurants seemed to be running at full outdoor capacity. The next available seatings were typically after 9:00 PM… make that reservation! Take a look at the photo. Never did I think I’d be having a meal with my daughter, seated next to a parking meter.

We humans are programmed to be productive, to be successful, to find a way. We find ways to stay alive, to take care of ourselves, our families and those in our lives.

This visit showed the entrepreneurial spirit at its best, and it brought some hope that has sometimes been hard to find in these COVID times. I remain inspired by the human spirit.

Quote of the week:

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.

Ronald Reagan