It’s easy to think that the only people who matter right now are the scientists, the health care workers, the political leaders, and the activists. “These are the people who will get us through this mess and ultimately out of this mess,” we think. “I’m small. I’m non-essential.”

Yes, all of these people will play vital roles in helping our world navigate these ongoing and developing crises. Thank goodness that many of them are brilliant, capable, and decent humans.

But it’s a lie that the rest of us are insignificant, that our contribution rounds to zero. Just look around you. Those people who report to you? Your colleagues? Your boss? Your customers or students? Your neighbors and loved ones? Try telling them that you make no difference, that you may as well sit down and wait for the really important people to do their thing.

Each of the people in your circle have their own fears, uncertainties, losses – and yes – hopes for the future. For them, you are – or could be – a crucial part of their survival plan. You are one key to helping them find their footing through this season.

Sure, you may only directly touch a limited number of people. But what if that helps them play that role in their circles, and it echoes out from there? If our culture understands anything, it’s the power of the network effect.

Be as brilliant as you can be. Use all of your capabilities for the common good. But no matter what, use The Grind to become the kind of person that folks can lean on when they start to falter. That’s our role and it’s essential.

Be bright