chad balthrop


How’s your supply of toilet paper holding out? Have you made or purchased your personalized corona-mask? Are you still stuck inside or have you begun to venture out?

The effects of COVID-19 go well beyond the medical. Our world has been transformed by an invisible actor that has harmed or killed many and inspires fear, caution and social distancing in others. Economies have been reshaped. Schedules have been abandoned. Significant milestones like graduations, weddings and funerals are forever altered for this generation.

It highlights an important principle that influences the way we make decisions. It’s a principle that should capture our attention — no matter the conditions or circumstances, regardless of education or socioeconomic status, for every choice, big or small. People make the best decision they can based on the information available at the time.

It’s why we see the tension that exists between the overly-cautious and the overly-confident. Wherever you land on the spectrum, you will make the best decision you can based on the information available at the time.

A doctor you trust says to be cautious, so you stay inside. A politician you follow says to start the economy, so you meet a friend at a restaurant for lunch. In this circumstance and every other, if you want to make better decisions, you need better information.

There’s a quality of character that can help you on your quest for better information; that quality is alertness. Alertness is being aware of what’s taking place around you so you can have the right response.

Being alert means you receive information from diverse sources. This fuels discerning decisions. Being alert means you’re aware of the concerns of the people around you. This empowers encouraging conversations that lead to wise choices together. Being alert gives you a broader view that sees further down the road. This enables you to avoid obstacles and make the most of every opportunity.

Sometimes it takes a red alert to capture our attention. During this season, may we all become more mindful, more considerate and more alert to one another in the decisions that matter most.