“I have always been an optimist believing that situations and people will work out to be the best that they can be.  That optimism has not always been proven true in every situation, but I still am a believer that we all need to hold on to that hope that people and problems will work out for the best.  Obviously in our current uncertain times, that is becoming more difficult to keep the smile.  However, just like giving of our time, money and resources makes the giver feel as good as the recipient, we need to keep giving.  People are losing their jobs.  Business are losing their income.  IRAs and 401ks are losing their value.  We all are losing are minds a little bit!  So what is there left to give…..
First, I think we should give our time.  We should give our time to people we care about by taking the time to give them a call, write them a note or sending them a text just to let them know you are thinking about them.  We should give of our time to our local business owners by sharing their Facebook post and helping promote their business in these trying times.  We should give our time to our elderly and people at higher risk now by picking up their groceries or medication while we are out shopping for ourselves.  We have a lot of people locally who do not have family in the area so this would be greatly appreciated.  As parents, we should give time to our children to ensure they are understanding their schoolwork and by playing outside with them since they can’t play with their friends.  I would have never thought I would have to refresh my skills of the Pythagorean Theorem but let your children know you are there for them as this is all new and stressful on them too.  Giving time is something a lot of people currently have more to share as we #stayhome.  I know in our business, the Home Sales Team is taking the time to do video tours of homes that buyers are interested in.  This time is helping protect the buyers, sellers and the agents involved which will hopefully help squash this pandemic sooner.
I also believe we all have a smile to give.  Even when you do not feel like smiling, fake it!  It will make you happier and make the person in the grocery store or at your place of essential work feel better.  Your smile may lift someone’s spirits who then in turn lift your spirits through their smile back.  We can’t hug our friends, coworkers and family currently.  However, seeing these people faces smile back brings a warmth to all of us.  Through the technology of Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Duo and many other video chatting platforms, we can share our smile with people everywhere while maintaining our social distancing practice.  
We also can share a word of encouragement.  In this tough time we are being bombarded with a lot of scary information about fighting a virus we can’t see.  A word of encouragement and positive thoughts can go a long way in helping relieve stress for others.  We can’t give anyone a pat on the back but we can let folks know of a job well done or a shared belief that everything will be alright.  Encourage people that have lost their job or income has been reduced as I believe this is temporary, though something we will never forget.  Encourage people that are still having to go to work as it is scary for them also.  Take a break from the 24 hour news cycle and refresh yourself with a walk outside to watch the sunset and get fresh air.  Encouraging others can help encourage yourself as well.  We are still selling houses, though not as many as we should be during the spring selling season.  Therefore, if you do want to move and are able to, be encouraged that you can sell your home or find a home.  
We all need each other to get through good times and tough times.  Take the time to give what you have and want cost you a dime to do.  Keep hope alive.  Be the light that drives out other’s darkness.  Share time, a smile, encouragement and in general, share love with one another.”

-Rowland Bowen