Meeting the Moment
In the Book of Esther, the Jewish queen is told that perhaps she was made for “such a time as this.” And Esther does indeed rise to the occasion, and saves her people from Haman’s wicked plot. It is a powerful story of personal destiny and responsibility that has always stayed with me. In a cynical world, those who selflessly sacrifice for others (even total strangers) in service of a greater good, seem rare indeed. Even foolish.
Yet this is what seems to be what is happening right now, in Ukraine. The brutal invasion by Vladimir Putin’s troops has shown the world that the Ukrainians are people of great courage, unfaltering love of country, and willingness to sacrifice, and even die, for the ideals of freedom. Were these people, like Esther, made for this moment in time?
I’ve noticed that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and my Steve share several things in common: they are actors. They are comedians. They are both a bit height-challenged. And they are, in my opinion, both people of character and integrity. Now, whether my hubby would have the courage to meet this terrifying moment as Zelensky has, I guess we wouldn’t know unless he found himself in a situation like that, but I like to think he would. In any event, Ukraine’s leader has moved me to tears several times with his videos, in which he rallies his country and vows to stay with them, no matter what. This from a guy whose entire prior political experience was playing the part of a president on a Ukrainian TV show called “Servant of the People.” Who would ever have guessed?
But “such a time as this” includes a pantheon of other dreadful situations, globally and at home. Two weeks from now, we will mark two full years since the lockdown at the start of the pandemic in the US. Our climate is raging out of control, and many experts are warning that we are approaching the point of no return if we want to change course. And then there’s the poisonous discourse and division that have re-written “love your neighbor” as “love only those neighbors who fully embrace OUR mindset.”
Like it or not, THIS is my time—and yours too. There’s been plenty of finger-pointing over what started us on this downward slide, but it almost doesn’t matter. Here we are, all of us. And the future, while unpredictable in some respects, isn’t looking very rosy right now.
But what if, like Esther and Zelensky, we recognize that we were born for this time, and no other, and meet the moment with bravery and resolve? We may succeed or fail, but don’t we owe it to the next generations to try? It’s at least possible that one or more of us has the key to saving our planet and humanity—and if we seem like unlikely heroes, who’s to say that disqualifies us?
Ask the TV president turned real one, leading the fight for Ukraine.