Apr 06

Finding Purpose in Adversity

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 04/06/2020 12:09PM | Quote of the Week | Leadership | Citizenship

Finding Purpose in Adversity

Finding Purpose in Adversity

Our Quote of the Week provides a little bit of wisdom as we navigate our way through the crises arising from the COVID-19 epidemic. During this precarious time, the battles for our health, but also for justice, equality, and protection of others, are both brutal and unrelenting. One way to help make sense of the suffering and loss is to find purpose in our daily actions.

Sargent Shriver said these words during his Address to the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He was speaking about the trials and tribulations of past generations of the Irish people, "the distempers of war and famine, and the tides of immigration and exile." It was in this context that he spoke about braving adversity and dealing with the mourning that arises after physical and moral defeats. Through these words, we can see some of Sargent Shriver's defining traits: his determination, his toughness, his sensitivity, and his faith.

In a moment like ours, it can help us to move forward if we find purpose in what we do. Some of us are continuing to work and are serving others every day. Some of us are struggling with our health or trying to figure out what to do with dwindling financial resources. Some of us have the privilege of staying at home while we continue working. Whatever resources we have at our disposal -- time, skills, money -- let us do what we can to make our own days meaningful and the days of others less heavy. From checking in on loved ones and neighbors, to supporting groups and institutions who are on the front lines of this epidemic, or even to staying at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, let us do what we can today to serve others, so that when we look back on this painful time, we can know that our actions had purpose.

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