What did you do during the pandemic? | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

What did you do during the pandemic?

Young people of the world, I bring you the most annoying article ever.

Parents and grandparents of the world, I bring you an article that may be forwarded to young people, if you have the courage.

Someday, someone is going to ask you, what did you do during the pandemic in summer? The best answer may not be, “I played with my cell phone.”

Thank God, I’ve got a good kid who gets this. She’s signed up to take a virtual pre-college class this summer. In fact, many of us have good kids who get this. Loads of young people are working jobs, volunteering, studying for standardized tests and tearing through personal reading lists.

But we all live in silos now. Peer pressure, which can be a healthy irritant, is hobbled. If you’re getting accustomed to the four walls of your current world, and you could use a reminder that life marches on, consider this a friendly reminder.

“OK, Boomer,” you may say. That’s an Internet meme indicating that us old folks made a mess of the world, so maybe don’t preach. It’s actually a pretty good point, so let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about risk.

When it comes to connecting with the outside world, every family has got to make their own choices, determine their own comfort level. But there’s a risk, too, of doing nothing. We need to challenge ourselves to grow, to stay happy and to get ready for a world that isn’t going to be any less complex.

Peruse this edition of the Chronicle. Local agencies and organizations are looking for volunteers and participants. You may find a great fit that starts small and turns into something more. One connection can lead to another.

And keep in mind the world is open to you, because our culture has shifted to a greater acceptance of remote working and learning. School, work and volunteer spots nationwide are open to remote experiences. Some may be rolling out new opportunities as you read this, as they scramble to stay relevant and helpful.

Yes, yes, I’m an old fella who spent way too much time playing Super Mario back in the day. I tell you, I could get through all those levels and jump through the final fireballs like nobody’s business.

Do as I say, not as I do. There’s a place for final fireballs, but when someone, someday asks what you did, it may be even more impressive to hurl fireballs their way like tales of studying of a good text, building kehillah or pursuit of tikkun olam.

Rob Golub is editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.