To­gether we will emerge stronger than be­fore

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - CONTENTS - Daniela J. Jaeger Daniela J. Jaeger Group Pub­lisher, TOTI Me­dia

The most dif­fi­cult thing—but an es­sen­tial one—is to love Life, to love it even while one suf­fers, be­cause Life is all. Life is God, and to love Life means to love God. —Leo Tol­stoy

Ev­ery day find my­self ask­ing: Wher is the bal­ance in the me­dia cov­er­age of the pan­demic, as its path across the coun­try con­tin­ues? How do we keep a clear head when bom­barded with panic-in­duc­ing news re­ports and dev­as­tat­ing sto­ries about the help­less­ness of peo­ple? And what will our na­tion look like when this passes?

Although some may try to use the cri­sis to their ad­van­tage at the ex­pense of oth­ers, most peo­ple are fo­cused on the health and safety of their fam­ily and friends, and what is hap­pen­ing within their com­mu­ni­ties. Peo­ple are reach­ing out to help—a lot—and un­for­tu­nately, it’s of­ten over­shad­owed by neg­a­tive and dis­pu­ta­tious me­dia cov­er­age.

Then, I re­call 911. An­other world-chang­ing event—although dif­fer­ent in na­ture—that im­pacted us in ways we couldn’t imag­ine. How­ever, af­ter­wards we saw the world dif­fer­ently. We re­al­ized we had to change, par­tic­u­larly the way we travel, and we adopted new stan­dards within the travel and air­line in­dus­tries.

Now the whole world is fac­ing a dif­fer­ent cri­sis, an in­vis­i­ble threat called COVID-19. Al­ready we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its im­pact on our health, our per­sonal lives, our busi­nesses, our jobs, and our pock­et­books. Not only here in South­west Florida but across the coun­try and the whole world, its reach is felt, leav­ing peo­ple speech­less.

How we come to­gether to com­bat this threat will im­pact our fu­ture as a na­tion. I want to share with you a few sage words from Queen El­iz­a­beth’s elo­quent speech on April 5: “I hope in years to come ev­ery­one will be able to take pride in how they re­sponded to this chal­lenge.”

There’s an old ax­iom about what t o do when you’re faced with a po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing event. It says peo­ple are mo­ti­vated to ei­ther “fight or flight.” Amer­i­cans will, no doubt, fight—it’s just whether we do it united or in dis­cord.

At a time like this, we need to re­mem­ber the phrase “We the Peo­ple” from the pre­am­ble of the United States Con­sti­tu­tion. We, along with those serv­ing us in gov­ern­ment, need to unite and work in har­mony to over­come the cur­rent chal­lenges we face. Go­ing for­ward I hope ev­ery­one can see that these chal­lenges are not about any po­lit­i­cal party, but rather, about how “We the Peo­ple” come to­gether to deal with the cri­sis. If we unite as a com­mu­nity, as we did af­ter 911 and Hur­ri­cane Irma, we will get the job done. Our busi­nesses will open their doors and once again pro­vide jobs to “We the Peo­ple.” Our chil­dren will re­turn to school. And tourists will come back to en­joy beau­ti­ful South­west Florida.

Although we were not pre­pared for this storm, let us work with each other to pre­pare for what comes next. In uni­son we can help all the com­mu­ni­ties that make up South­west Florida, our neigh­bors, and our busi­nesses come out of this stronger. “We the Peo­ple” can rise above it.

We are thank­ful to ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially our doc­tors, health care pro­fes­sion­als, and es­sen­tial busi­nesses, for stay­ing strong and help­ing us weather the cri­sis.

Let’s not forget that we are all in this to­gether, and like a net­work that is in­ter­con­nected, we de­pend on each other.

With this un­der­stand­ing, “We the Peo­ple” can prove by act­ing with pru­dence, courage, tem­per­ance and fair­ness that we are ca­pa­ble of work­ing to­gether to build an even stronger net­work.

I thank you, our loyal sub­scribers, our ad­ver­tis­ers and clients, and our won­der­ful TOTI team of creative pro­fes­sion­als, edi­tors, con­trib­u­tors and as­so­ciates.

Let us pray ev­ery day for fam­ily and friends from all around the world.

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