Inspiration During Coronavirus Quarantine

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our personal and professional lives, I wanted to share some positive inspiration from Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and Maya Angelou — all extraordinary people who experienced hardship, whether personally or societally. Yet they persevered, embodying the qualities necessary for leadership during a time of crisis.

Winner of the Nobel Peace prize, Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 27 years.  Imprisoned in a tiny cell for many of those years, he endured periods of isolation and solitary confinement. As he shared in his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”, he used as much of this time as possible to further educate himself and grow stronger. Upon his release, he led the efforts that ended apartheid in South Africa.
Winston Churchill is best remembered for his leadership as Prime Minster of Britain during WWII. Despite the hardships he faced leading a nation through a devastating wartime period, he persevered in his drive to defeat Hitler’s Germany. His courage and persistence were legendary, as were his inspirational speeches that rallied his countrymen and women to keep up their morale. This quote comes from a speech he gave at his alma mater (the Harrow School) on October 29, 1941.
An author, poet, singer, and civil rights activist, Angelou brought a voice to African American women by sharing her struggles as a child in the South and a young mother in Africa. She epitomized empathy and offered a light of inspiration in the darkness of inequality. Angelou published numerous works, including seven autobiographies, starting with her best known, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” She was the first female inaugural poet in U.S. presidential history, delivering her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” for President Bill Clinton in 1993.

These extraordinary people and their words have reminded me of what we are capable of during times of tremendous stress. I find comfort in that. We, too, can persevere, and survive this crisis. If you have any sources of inspiration that are helping you to deal with these difficult times, please share! I’d love to hear from you. 

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