The New Three Rs

As human beings and business owners, many changes have been precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic. In contending with everything from restricted travel to social distancing, from working at home to wearing masks in public, we’ve found we’re able to adapt and conform. We’ve also found we’ve been able to learn. In all the lessons available to us thanks to COVID-19, these are among the most important:


One of the definitions of commerce is this: “social relations, especially the exchange of views, attitudes, etc.” In that context, all of us engage in commerce, whether it be personal or professional. The success we desire, personally and professionally, depends on building and maintaining that commerce. It’s the responsibility of each of us to initiate it — to make contact with the people in our lives to assure them we’re here. We care. We support. We’ll do everything we can to help.


Now, more than ever, we are our brothers’ keepers. We’re responsible for ourselves and each other. Whether looking out for family members, friends, customers, or random strangers who might need a helping hand, each of us bears the responsibility to do what we can. It doesn’t have to be much. Whenever we ask one particular person we know what he needs, he always responds, “A few kind words.” Most of us can do more. But don’t underestimate the power of a few kind words.


One of the peculiar challenges of the coronavirus pandemic is that it’s created senses of urgency. That makes it all the more important for us, in our interactions with each other, to discern the real from the reflexive, the actual from the perceived. Since it isn’t possible for all things to exist or transpire on the same level of priority at all times, we just need to stop for a moment. Breathe. Assess. Respond accordingly and appropriately. It may take a little practice, but we’ve gotten this far, haven’t we?

The Good News

Fortunately, we don’t have to go back to school to learn any of these lessons. All we really need to do is pay attention and do what we likely would have done anyway. Among the positive aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is that we’ve shown we’re capable of practicing The New Three Rs, even without being told we should.

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