Thank you to each person who took, literally, four minutes to answer our Quick 5-Question Survey. The responses were candid and inspiring.
It’s good to know that most of our readership is “on the front lines” of work, leadership, business, innovation, healthcare and serving others. In the trenches, so to speak, of every kind of business (including church business!).
Nearly 80% responded “YES” that their company or business has been affected by the coronavirus shutdown.
We debated how best to present the survey responses, and ultimately decided to keep it simple and let you experience the “raw” responses for yourself. But first, a short summary.
What stood out for us
First and foremost what stood out was how deeply respondents chose to live their Catholic Faith, regardless of circumstances.
They sought to put others first, including sacrificing in order to keep employee salaries nearly “whole,” finding innovative ways to reach and serve clients and customers, cutting expenses as much as possible to survive rather than close their doors for good, pivoting to focus more on service and adding value than on selling, personally praying for employees and their families, and more.
What do we see now that we never took time to see before?
Our hearts went out especially to a respondent caring for a dependent loved one. The social isolation felt by many during the prolonged shutdown due to the virus was something this respondent had experienced for a long time. A very long time.
There was no bitterness in this person’s response. It was just fact, and the last 8 weeks for them it was as though the world’s mad-paced social busy-ness had suddenly stopped, forcing people to feel a disorienting isolation similar to what this respondent has felt to some extent every day.
It really grabbed our attention. Made us think.
How many times do we procrastinate — if we think at all about it — visiting or reading to a shut-in on a regular basis, offering to give a caretaker a break every week or so, finding a way to share another’s burdens on a consistent basis?
We don’t realize what a glorious breath of fresh air and social inclusion our simple attentiveness, just simple acts, could be for another person forced to be more isolated than they would like to be! Now we know.
It was also great to hear from another perspective few of us laity may think about.
A pastor’s perspective
Although the quick survey was completely anonymous, it was clear that at least one respondent was likely a priest and pastor.
The compassion for his flock—including the pain of being forced to furlough employees due to a more than 60% loss of revenue—was important to hear.
Sure, we have plenty of nonprofits flooding us with emails—all for worthy causes—but do we remember our local parish church and its employees?
Where would we be without our local parish? How can we support our parish, our pastor, parish employees — even with a phone call or note of gratitude or a little donation?
People of Faith are beautiful from the Inside Out
There were certainly anxiety, worries expressed, but greatly tempered by a deepening trust in God. it makes sense. Trust is forged during times when we ourselves can’t see clearly the way forward.
There was of course mention of a new-found local focus — family, neighbors. How often do we gloss over these anchors of our daily lives?
Lastly, we were inspired by how every respondent in different ways was taking time for increased prayer and meditation, reading Holy Scriptures, “participating” in Mass maybe more often, opening their souls for food that the world cannot give.
Go here for Survey responses as submitted, with duplicate comments omitted.