By: Scott Pansky
“We lost friends. We lost family. We lost a part of ourselves. Today, we have a chance to take it all back. You know your teams, you know your missions. No mistakes. No do-overs. Most of us are going somewhere we know. That doesn’t mean we should know what to expect. Be careful. Look out for each other. This is the fight of our lives. And we are going to win – whatever it takes. Good Luck!”
Steve Rogers, Captain America, Avengers Endgame
I am a huge movie fan, and I love the Marvel movies. I have read Captain America comic books for more years than I can remember. Underdog stories are what I cherish most. Whether it was the Avengers against Thanos, Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed, Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader, Rudy fighting his way into one game at the University of Notre Dame, or the kids from “The Bad News Bears” and “The Mighty Ducks” going from the worst to first – no matter what, they always got up.
Today, our first responders have stepped up bravely, as they always do. But who would have thought people many of us might take for granted would become our unsung heroes during this pandemic? These heroes who still go to work, who still get up no matter what! Whether it’s the warehouse workers, packers, delivery drivers, cooks, bakers, grocery store clerks or baggers, these are the brave souls on the front lines every day. Who would have thought of the neighbors and friends who stay home making face masks to give out friends and families or to donate to strangers around the globe? Who would have known companies could change their business models so quickly to make respirators, face shields and surgical gowns needed by medical facilities when these products were unavailable?
What makes a hero? What makes an underdog rise up during a challenge?
Right now, the real heroes are the people who help others at their own risk, who help their peers and do their personal best to make a difference. Perseverance, grit, determination and focus are just words. But getting up every day to help feed people, give them a place to shower, volunteer serving food, sell groceries or assist those who suffer at home or in a hospital – these are the real heroes!
Let’s do more than watch them. Let’s show them your gratitude and appreciation and say “please” and “thank you,” and think about offering them a cup of coffee, a meal or gift card. We can also take the time to write positive Yelp reviews or personal letters to companies showing our appreciation and calling out team members that went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. There are so many ways we can show our appreciation.
Let’s follow their lead! As Cap said, “This IS the fight of our lives. And, we are going to win… whatever it takes… whatever it takes.”
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Scott Pansky is a co-founder of the agency and leads Allison+Partners’ Social Impact group. Scott has extensive experience providing communications and crisis counsel to nonprofit organizations and developing board + ambassador training programs.