Well, folks, we are into August and somehow it feels like the effort to move us forward has now taken most of us two steps back. The optimism of June is starting to sink as we look at entering the fall and returning to school. We feel worry for parents who have to choose whether or not to send their kids to school, businesses who are terrified of being shut down again, and those who have to weigh their own health with returning to their places of work. There are no easy answers, and certainly no one-size-fits-all solution.

I continually second guess myself. Nor-mally, I make a decision, move forward and never have to think about it again. But we are in the midst of something so changeable and formless, that it sifts right through our fingers and I have yet to grasp the sense of it. And I know I am not alone. We are facing a pandemic of choice as much as one of health. How much do our individual choices impact others, how much should they impact others, how important are those choices?

These questions, of course, have an immediate backlash of political rhetoric that is staggering. Even now, my attempt at writing this is to address something greater than political debate, which I am likely failing at spectacularly. So, in the midst of all this, I am going to focus on faith. It is my personal faith that helps me step back from getting tangled up in all the other details. Maybe that is the re-minder we need—find that thing you put your faith in the most and hold tight to it. Let it guide you through your periods of uncertainty.

In the meantime, take a look at the young professionals we are featuring in our August magazine. Every one of these individuals has found the thing that is important to them and started mov-ing toward it with complete dedication. That their gaze can be so fixed at such a young age is impressive. I think way (way) back to my 20s and my attention was everywhere and nowhere. I still had that dreamy thought that time was irrelevant. Now, as my 40s remind me every day, the clock is more dictator than ever before. But these young folks are possessed with the determination to make time work for them by going after what they want, and I admire them for it.

In particular, I appreciated meeting Lavi (pronounced luv-ee) Juara. She is so ready to smile, look you in the eye and let you know how happy she is to meet you. She is sincere, and she only hints at the challenges she has already had to face in her young lifetime. I told her meeting her was like seeing an old friend again, and I meant it. There is an ease about her that is far wiser than her years. Thank you, Lavi, for that gift.

I will also mention this before I go, check out our NOCO Q&A. Blanche Hughes has lived through parts of our history both shameful and staggering. Yet she finds her faith in people still intact, and she urges us all to be a positive force within our own sphere of influence. Let her wisdom and experience guide you.

Till next month,

Angie Grenz