April 3rd, 2020
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our health, our economy, and our entire way of life. But if there is anything good to be found in this worldwide pandemic, it might be this: For the first time in our lifetimes, we are genuinely all—the entire world—in this together. And, strangely enough, the best way to be there for each other is to not be there. So, we act as a community now the only way that we can—digitally.
While I keep up with my multiple social media accounts, I have never really engaged in any online-specific groups. But recently, after my appearance on Shark Tank, a group of Shark Tank entrepreneurs reached out to me to join their online community. It was like a support group in a way—a place where people who had appeared on the show could relate to that surreal shared experience together. I was reluctant to join, thinking that it would be one more thing I simply wouldn’t have time for. I assumed I didn’t need it, and that it probably wouldn’t be helpful anyway.
I was wrong.
I joined the group and, to my pleasant surprise, found it almost therapeutic. Talking with other people who had been through the same harrowing but thrilling experience, sharing business ideas, and swapping behind-the-scenes stories turned out to be helpful and refreshing.
Online community groups are formed around specific shared interests, like hiking, sewing, classic cars, etc. They aren’t meant to appeal to everyone, but the current state of affairs in this world has forced us all into one gigantic, global, shared interest group, and we have two options: resist or join in.
I urge you not just to join, but to truly engage. Connect with the world, because we need each other more than ever now. Bring value by encouraging and spreading positivity. Be part of the solution, by actively seeking to not be part of the problem. Stay home if you’re supposed to. Social distance to the best of your ability if you have to go out. Help where you can* and be willing to receive help if you need it.
Let’s be there for each other like never before. You might be surprised at how therapeutic it can be for you and how helpful it can be for others. And when we get through this crisis, my optimistic hope is that the only lasting aftermath is a more unified, connected, positive and empathetic world.
*CharityWatch.org has released a list of top-rated reputable charities that are providing critical assistance during this COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re wondering how you can help, this is a good place to start. https://www.charitywatch.org/charity-donating-articles/coronavirus-outbreak