A Silver Lining to This Pandemic Year

steve coleman photoBy Steve Coleman, Partner

We are feeling new life as green is budding out. Eagerness to hug our loved ones brings tears of joy after so long being isolated by social distancing. We are coming back together. Even with economic disruption and COVID-19 these past 12 months, we are learning new ways to live more humanely.

Enduring the losses and stresses of the pandemic has oddly, for many of us, been combined with newly granted abundances—a silver lining shining through winter clouds.

While more than an eighth of our population suddenly lost their jobs by this time one year ago (and thankfully, 49 percent of them were re-employed as of last month), an even greater share of our population has learned new ways of doing their work. Businesses that were local or regional have expanded to a national or global scale through virtual delivery of services and products. Many of us are pivoting into new roles, jobs and businesses. Government funding to replace income in lieu of employment has been unprecedented.

We have more time in our weekdays given we spend none of it commuting. Families are sharing meals more regularly than in a generation. Millions of people are now doing walk-and-talks each day. Pet ownership – and time that can be devoted to pets – is at an all-high. Bike, boat, and other recreational equipment sales have reached new highs, indicating increased enjoyment of the outdoors and recreational endeavors. The inability to travel, enjoy sporting events, the theater, movies, dining out and other social activities allowed us to spend more time than usual improving our homes or simply to appreciate having more cash in our bank accounts, even if our income didn’t increase.

Silver Lining Photo

There is greater generosity. Young school kids are doing amazing things to be good neighbors. Seniors are learning how to do virtual communications to have family times like never before. Philanthropic generosity has risen to higher levels than we’ve seen in the past century. A recent webinar provided by a wealth management firm and a donor advised community foundation told stories of unexpected giving to meet social and economic needs. One anonymous gift was over a billion dollars. Sadly, these surprises don’t make daily headlines, but they are continuing to happen.

One shining example of increased generosity was the April 6 announcement by Colorado College that it received a $33.5 million gift from an anonymous individual donor—the largest of its kind ever received by the college. The donor said, “Colorado College has given so much to me, and it brings me great joy to see how CC positively changes the lives of students.” They also said they made this gift because they want other members of the Colorado College community to participate with gifts of their own during this time. The amount of the gift is much less important than the act of giving, said the donor.

What is the new abundance in your life this spring as we begin emerging from the pandemic, and how are you using it to help others? What abundant skills, experiences, connections, presence, leadership, service or funding are you being stirred to share in this new season of life?

For some of us at Platinum, the answer includes growing our new Community Ventures project, which brings needed credibility to under-resourced minority owned and/or focused ventures meeting needs in our metro area. We are collaborating with other non-profit ventures to share their abundances as well. If you’re curious to learn more, give us a call at 952-829-5700.