Lessons and Blessings


Lessons and Blessings

By John Kennedy, Kennedy Consulting


As I say often, God gave me two hands to make life easier and decisions simpler. 

And in the current life that we are all living, simplicity is welcomed more than ever.  There is no way to comprehend why something happens, or even when it may end. The only two considerations that I chose to contemplate are “what are the lessons I can learn from this event, and what are the blessings that may come from it?”

As Chuck Swindoll states, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it!”

The pandemic that has ravaged the world, from China to Italy and now the United States, brings lessons and blessings that are both bountiful and abundant.

That doesn’t mean that tragedy is not part of the equation…it absolutely is. What it does mean is that in the space between despair and hope, opportunity can be found.

As I read the changes that are being made in the middle of the storm, the remarkable amount of creativity and innovation that is exploding onto the scene is indeed amazing. From a ramped-up effort to meet the customers on their terms (curbside pick-up, phone orders, on-line engagement) to our deep concern for the health and safety of our staff are just a few of the many changes that we have made on the fly to be nimble in this time of crisis.

The lessons here are also found in a pair of ideals—willingness and ability.  

We are always “able” to address the changing needs of our customers, yet we are sometimes hesitant or “willing” to make those adaptions to our business model.

But when willingness leads, our ability quickly follows.

I am never surprised at the willingness of humanity to adapt and change when necessary (crisis), for these changes may very well (and possibly should) become our new model of behavior and business moving forward. Don’t’ waste this opportunity to revisit every aspect of your business model—technology, customer engagement, responsiveness, employee safety, digital learning, and supply chain management are all on the table now. We are all Amazon now.

The lessons of adaptiveness, innovation, nimbleness, willingness to change, and our complete commitment to meet our employees and customers on their terms instead of ours are indeed something to celebrate and embrace moving forward after this crisis subsides.

Now for the blessings…my favorite outcome.

My mom is 86 years young and has mastered FaceTime…and Siri is her new BFF!

Our entire family (eight kids) has surged love and connection to our mom and to our sister Theresa, who is on the front lines of this pandemic as a nurse in the Philadelphia area. We have never been more “connected” to each other and that is certainly a blessing.

As a busy working family with teenage boys to boot, we have never eaten more popcorn and watched more movies together than we have in the last two weeks. Dinner at the table more nights, more walks in the neighborhood, more conversations with our neighbors, more compassion for those in other parts of the world that are currently in the throes of what is coming our way, more forgiveness, more patience, more sharing, more connection, and more quality time at home are just a few of the many blessings that we have enjoyed.

We have redefined our home and what matters most…and for that I am grateful.

So, as we approach every situation that God places in our lives, the truly simple question we may ask ourselves…what lessons can I learn and what blessings may I find in the middle of the storm?

I pray for each of you, your families, your customers, your employees and your health during this storm. Know that better days, with more lessons and blessings, are just around the corner.


For over two decades, John Kennedy has inspired well over 500,000 audience members throughout North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. John's success was galvanized in the hospitality & tourism industry as a restaurant & hotel executive with a strong sense of teamwork, sales and leadership. He learned from the best and now speaks to many who want to be their best. John has been a longtime speaker at ABA’s Marketplace. To contact John, email  john@ishakeitup.com 

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