After she read my column last week regarding selflessness aiding in the healing of our national pandemic, she replied, “If only, if only ...”

My friend’s words resonated with me and touched my heart. It was as if she were longing for a return to kindness, compassion, and decency. Even though she is up north for the summer, it was in the simple way she responded that I could feel her hope for a brighter day was waning.

Life today is discouraging for most of us. It is difficult when we seem so scattered, both physically and mentally. We cannot visit those we love with ease, nor do we seem cohesive in thoughts and actions. Our government is as fragmented as we are, and the only thing that appears to be in control is an invader we can only see through a microscope.

Today there is fear, and there are those who spread fear. There is death from illness and killing from violence. There is talk loaded with hate, and there is prayer abundant with love. And, somewhere in the middle of this division and confusion is the heartbeat of us.

If only we could reach within us to find the ability to let empathy and selflessness rise to the surface. If only we could find solutions and compromises to benefit all American citizens. If only we could be less concerned about our rights and instead choose to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Perhaps, we all need to learn to sew using our heartstrings to bind our nation into strength and resolve. Our fragmented society is literally, seriously, killing us.

Our medical experts are not on the same page as our country’s political leaders in confronting COVID-19. Yet, some listen and lean recklessly on political persuasion to heal a virus. If you were in a hospital’s ICU, would you want the government to administer your treatments to survive or a medical team? If only some folks would listen to science to help cure sickness. If only we put our medical caregivers and healers into our thoughts before rolling the dice with our health.

If only we could have peaceful protests without looting and violence, so that the righteous could be heard and positive change had the opportunity to occur. Hate, evil, bigotry, and greed never will and never have helped anyone anywhere. If only raised voices for progress could stifle the sounds of gunfire and broken glass.

Today, I asked a friend, “If only you could do one thing to aid our nation, what would it be?” Her response was, “I would do the next right thing.”

If only we would do the next right thing as a group, by gosh, we just might rebirth our optimism for tomorrow. How hard is it for us to put down our swords, politics, and personal ideology to just do the next right thing for the common good of all?

From race relations to politics to our war with a virus, we all should take the opportunity to contemplate the next right move and act upon it. And, not do what only is right for you, but the neighbor, the child, or the stranger down the street.

God has instructed us to be brothers and sisters, to love not to hate, join hands, pray, put evil aside, and honor him with our deeds. Is that just an impossible task, or could we try? Are we beyond saving, or are we willing to lay down our sins and bow our souls before the almighty, begging for healing and help? Or do believe we are too intelligent, too proud to do such a thing? If only ...

If we have the faith of a mustard seed, we cannot only move a mountain, but we can get rid of a killing virus. If we put God above any political party, above our color, above our own little worlds, above our greed, above our hostility, then we might find our days filled with promise. And, we will return to newer, improved normality. If only ...

Lynn Gendusa of Roswell is the author of “It’s All Write with Me!” Essays from my heart. She can be reached at

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