Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois has stepped up as a leader during the Covid crisis and while I can’t say I was a huge fan of his prior to this time, he’s won me over and I’ve been impressed. At his daily briefing yesterday, he delivered a message directly to students and I loved his honesty and empathy.
You can see that portion of his address here:
To students across Illinois:
I know you never envisioned a pandemic derailing your spring semester. Believe me, as a parent of two teenagers, you’re not the only one.
But if you’re looking for a lesson in the fundamental goodness of people — it’s right there in front of you. pic.twitter.com/4bpb9bPmA5
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) April 1, 2020
Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for saying exactly what teens need to hear right now. I know it’s what I needed to hear, too, and I’m going to guess I’m not the only adult who found his words helpful. We’re all human, after all.
I’m grateful for the acknowledgment that the feelings we all have right now are part of being human. His encouragement to feel them helped me remember that doing so is the best way to move through them, and that in doing so we may get to a place where we see the good around us.
While it may not be new information, it bears repeating, multiple times from multiple sources. I appreciated that reminder that it is okay to be sad and be hopeful and be inspired, all simultaneously. It is okay to be human.
Here’s the text of that portion of Pritzker’s statement:
“I won’t try and tell you that texting and calling each other is the same as hanging out in the hallways or in the lunchroom.
And I won’t try to tell you that a Zoom prom is the same as a real prom.
I won’t try to tell you not to be sad about the lost goals and plans you may have had for March or April.
It’s okay to be sad.
And if you do feel sad or frustrated or angry – whatever you feel – please, let yourself feel that way.
Don’t beat yourself up over being human.
No, it’s not the school year you bargained for and I’m terribly sorry for that. But amidst these dire circumstances I want you to know there are plenty of people to learn from. There’s plenty of reason to hope.
Once you’re ready, take a look around. Take in the incredibly unique moment you’re living in. Yes, it’s scary and it’s uncertain and it’s difficult. But if you’re looking for a lesson in the fundamental goodness of people and of your community, it’s right there in front of you.”
You May Also Like: What I’ve learned about parenting a teen during quarantine
Don’t miss a post! Please subscribe to Between Us Parents’ safe, spam-free email list in the box in the top right corner of the page!