Today’s Word on Áccent: Strength

In the midst of all the coronavirus craziness and anxiety, I was searching for a good word to write about. My inspiration came from reading so many posts on social media about how people are coming together, many offering their personal strengths in order to benefit others.

I’ve seen stories and posts about a mom and her kids supporting truck drivers with encouraging words and snacks, a teacher offering his services for free to teens who are home from school, and multiple thank yous and shout outs to nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers as well as grocery clerks, pastors, delivery people (especially for restaurants), and mail carriers, among others. I’ve learned about a furniture business in Mukilteo, Washington, that is now making surgical masks for healthcare workers. And I’m grateful for grocery stores that have offered special shopping hours for those most at risk.

People have shared knowledge about correctly washing hands, how to make homemade face masks, and where to find free online learning (to keep you from being bored and to learn new skills, especially if you find yourself suddenly unemployed).

I have also greatly appreciated everyone’s sense of humor about the situation. Jokes and memes about toilet paper shortages, parents coping with their kids being at home full time, and introverts not being bothered by staying away from people have made me smile or laugh out loud. I’ve passed along quite a few borrowed jokes, such as this one:

My question, then, is: What strength can you pass along in this crisis? How can you make this situation just a little easier for the people around you, the people whose lives yours touches?

Don’t know what your strengths are? VIA provides access to a free strengths-finder survey to help you identify your character strengths. Try it out if you’d like to discover your strongest character traits or if you want to find out whether you’re already correct in your assessment of your most powerful attributes.

Crises often bring out worst of humanity and at the same time the very best we can offer. We should all strive to share the finest that we personally have to give, our strengths, with the people who are most affected by this pandemic and who need us the most. I’m already proud of so much that I’ve witnessed. Let’s keep it up, fellow humans!

In searching for a focus for this blog, I finally alighted on the idea of WORDS. For a site called “Áccent on Words,” it makes sense. As an editor and writer, I work with words for a living. Words are important to me. But really, they’re important to everyone, and even more so in an age when we’re constantly bombarded with them and continually consume them through social media, television, radio and what we choose to read. My aim is to choose a particular word or phrase as the focus of each new blog post and talk about why our words matter. — Deborah Jackson