Who’s ready to beat the virus? There’s growing concern that we’re not quite out the woods yet with Covid-19. The delta variant rate of spread is a cause for concern in many parts of the country. Why it’s become such a political football might take some time to unpack. But how about we focus on rallying around a solution as a team like they do at mission control?
That’s somewhat how the conversation went during the early founding of the nation when the question then was, “Who’s ready to beat the British?” A series of events had triggered a backlash to British rule which eventually led to the American Revolution. Patriot leaders like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin pulled together a gameplan for victory as a team and nation.
The plan was built around modest military strategy for sure, but they were also “united by civics.” Some concerns they had to manage resulted in critical decisions and civic actions:
- They formed the Continental Congress and Continental Army as a “common good, shared defense” approach to the vast strength of the British forces.
- They directed the creation of the “free press” in response to misinformation and disinformation that was in circulation.
The American patriots realized that if the colonies were divided and not on one accord, the British could undermine the weak link. They also had to contend with folks in neighboring Quebec Canada who were spreading bad info about the U.S. mission. Well, the Covid-19 virus is no joke and works by affecting the unvaccinated as the weak link. In addition, there’s no reason why media outlets today, born out of the idea of a “free press” should be spreading misinformation. Public leaders and everyday citizens should be ready to join a strategy to beat the virus, squash bad info and come together for the greater good.
If the patriots back then had the ‘smarts’ to be united by civics, what might it take for us to be (re)united by ‘smart civics’ in the real world, with a winning spirit? Well, maybe we can look to the new space race or the Olympics for clues. For the space race it’s about being united by science. The Olympic athletes and countries come together united by sports. So if we’re gonna beat the virus and return “back to life better” as a nation after Covid, social protests and post-election challenges, maybe we’ll need to copy what happens in sports during a timeout. That’s the idea behind SAICs “Operation J.U.M.P. for Joy.”
Normally during a timeout, there’re four things that happen between the last play and return-to-play when teams J.U.M.P. back into action. Well, Covid-19 forced a kinda timeout on regular life. Moving forward as we return to the workplace, school campus and other normal activities it might help to infuse those four things in our day-to-day living. Plus, Operation J.U.M.P. is about linking history and civics as we urge others to get a “shot of vaccine and boost of civics” and return back to life better with:
On the sidelines during a timeout, athletes can be seen chugging their favorite sports drink. During play they lose lots of fluid and these drinks along with water, help to replenish them with electrolytes. This way they avoid getting weak from dehydration. Well, we can do the same to replenish some of what the Covid shutdown caused us to lose. For starters, it makes sense to get a shot of vaccine as our ‘juice’ to protect us from bad effects of the virus causing infection, exhaustion, dehydration and possible hospitalization.
Players return to the field after a timeout pep-talk from the coaching staff. This might involve pointing out ways to overcome their opponent. In most cases you can see the sense of urgency they have back in the game. Similarly, where things are today with civic, social, cultural and Covid issues, we need to respond with a sense of urgency. Maybe words from Dr King fit here: “We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
Not only do athletes show-up with a sense of urgency, but they also bring some moxie. That means they gotta have a fighting spirit in the game. You often see this with ‘hustle’ plays where things start to bounce their way. Moxie might not always show up in the game stats but it often shows up in the team energy. That’s why we say SAIC isn’t about seeing others as a new enemy as much as it is about bringing a new energy to the civic/social playing field.
In an interview with famed basketball coaching legend John Wooden, he was once asked about the success he had at UCLA over his career. The reporter basically wanted to know how he got different players to come together as a team, even when they weren’t all 5-star athletes. Wooden’s response captured his coaching philosophy. He said, “Each player on the team must find a role for himself and a purpose beyond himself.” SAIC is built on a similar philosophy geared towards a higher level of citizenship.
These days, some stir-up drama about whether Simone Biles lived up to her G.O.A.T. status at the Tokyo Olympics. Others spread bad info causing vaccine hesitancy. SAICs Operation J.U.M.P. wants us to focus more on being united by civics. So, we’ll need Juice for the Journey, Urgency to Up-level, Moxie to Matter and Purpose to Party! The idea of the Revolution as a time to “fight for freedom or die” gets used as an excuse to justify not taking the vaccine. Well, we can be like those in 1776 whose fight for freedom was to beat the British and begin a new nation. Today we fight for freedom to beat the virus and return back to life better with a new lease on life.
You can join the conversation and support our efforts with SAICs “Dear America 2021” Letters and Impact Statement at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here http://www.Facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: GAWVI ft LeCrae – Fight for Me – https://youtu.be/LYU9RWkvhwo
Andy Grammer – Lease on Life – https://youtu.be/-SiifUgGqAs