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Open My Eyes and My Heart--and then Hit "Share"

Paolo is asked, “What keeps you motivated at work during this hard time?” The answer is surprising.


During these unprecedented times, some of my fellow employees are struggling with fear, depression, or poor adjustment to the “smart working" or because they are directly impacted by the infection. So my company is collecting uplifting videoclips to share a “dose of goodness” in an effort to help those who are struggling. I was asked to share a positive experience I recently had. I shared how I had been quarantined at home (as I was in contact with a person who contracted COVID-19), and I could not travel as I usually do to support medical procedures. I had figured out a way to help a doctor performing a challenging procedure by guiding him via FaceTime, and it went great.


We recorded the video, but when I was asked “What keeps you motivated at work during this hard time?” I was left speechless. I said, ”This is a big question!” I thought about it: Do I have any secret sauce to share? Do I have exceptional skills? I couldn’t find an answer. An answer came only later.


Immediately after the recording, I had a virtual "happy hour" in Zoom with my co-workers, including my boss. Thirty people joined, and we took turns sharing interesting or funny videos. I shared the video of about forty young men singing an Alpini song about hope, each from their own home. We all watched and listened to the song in silence, and many of my co-workers were in tears, moved by the hope and the unity that was in that video. Then they all asked me for the link.


I had decided to share the video because of the experience my wife had with her friends. She had told me about how sharing the video had been the opportunity to radically change the content of the friendships, to start talking about hope and despair, life and death and what makes you survive the isolation. I did it because I trusted my wife, and she did it because friends in Communion and Liberation shared that video with her. This is the way (one of the many) that Jesus is entering our life today, from person to person, even during this time of self-isolation and social distancing.


There’s no mention of God in the video, and yet this video (like many others--it doesn’t have to be an Alpini song) is opening hearts; for me this was an easy way to live Pope Francis’ call to “hospitality, fraternity, solidarity.” I shared it with another colleague of mine whose son is troubled by a disease with no real cure, and he was so grateful! It was easy for me to do that, I just had to open my eyes and my heart and share; I don’t have to be exceptionally skilled or smart. If I’m different and others can see that, it’s because I have Jesus with me and Jesus is with me through real humans--in this case my wife and my friends.


“What keeps you motivated at work during this hard time?” I have this question in front of me every day, and I want to know every day a bit more about it. And every day I find out that by welcoming Jesus, my workday is different, and great things can happen.


Paolo, Newport Beach, California

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