Last night I had a Zoom call with several families from my church. We talked about hot dogs, crazy e-learning situations for kids, and something we coined #redeemthequarantine. “Redeem the quarantine” is our way of figuring out life on this side of the COVID-19 pandemic. How are you redeeming your quarantine? For me, redeeming the quarantine involves a duck named Chuck.
With nearly the entire globe affected by the Coronavirus, we’ve found our lives turned upside down. Suddenly busyness has slowed down and I now have lots of time on my hands. As an artist, there was a devious part of me that was excited for the opportunity ahead. That’s when I drew Chuck.
Chuck is a plump duck with a jovial spirit. Give him one good look and you’ll find yourself wanting to cuddle him. If you are too good for that sort of thing, don’t dare be alone with Chuck. You’ll end up in a weird situation wanting his friendship.
I drew Chuck by tracing a simple clipart file stored in the dusty crevices of the internet. I wanted to practice an emerging skill of drawing with a Wacom tablet. (Tablets are what some designers use to draw illustrations and unique works of digital art.) So Chuck is, in this sense, my way of redeeming the quarantine. I am using this time to hone my skills and practice things I’ve not tried before. But it gets better.
It’s beyond me
When I finished Chuck’s final touches, I couldn’t help but share him with my friends and family. I laughed when I looked at him and wanted to share that cheer with others.
Redeeming the quarantine is best done when it has very little to do with you. Crises like COVID-19 naturally turn us inward. That’s why we shove our neighbors out of the way as we snag the last packs of toilet paper. Our instincts to run, hide, or fight are distinctly self-protecting activities. It’s what we do when we are forced into a corner and fear for our lives.
Turning your attention
But what if we used this time to turn our attention to others? We could look for ways—like an illustrated duck named Chuck—to bring cheer to others. So what’s your duck? What ways can you use your current platform or position to bring joy to those around you (even virtually)?
Chuck the Duck represents making the best of the times we are given. Chuck is the product of design thinking—a willingness to innovate to achieve creative solutions. Even if you are not a designer, you still have a little duck waiting to stretch its feathers.
If you’re a leader in any capacity, be innovative about how you motivate and encourage your team. If you are not a leader, you too can be creative about how you motivate and encourage your leaders.
So here’s to Chuck and the other ducks that emerge in the coming weeks. What’s your duck? Send me a message. I’d love to help you brainstorm.