July 18 was International Nelson Mandela Day, held to honor and remember the former anti-apartheid leader, president of South Africa, icon of great leadership and governance, and promoter of international peace. Mandela was committed to the vision of Black and white people coming together in South Africa. He believed in his vision, created a plan, and refused to be shaken by any offer made to him that was not intended for the good of all.

Mandela was a model of commitment, a quality which is essential to bring to all projects, big or small, whether at school, in caring for your home, in your career – from teachers to waiters – and also in the struggle for justice. With commitment comes perseverance, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of the goal. Just try it, just go for it.

We are going through such hard times now that it seems easy to let go. We feel lonely, tired, stressed. But this is the time when we need to commit to keeping our families and our community safe, so that we may all come together again.

So speak up, stand up for what is right. Don’t only seek your own comfort. Your happiness will come from helping others.

If you are not accustomed to committing strongly to striving to reach a goal, now is the time.

Think of a book that you have never finished reading, or a training that you never dared start, or maybe a workout schedule that you always wanted to put in place. This is the time to set things up so that when we come back to life as normal, we feel ready. Let’s enjoy life, and keep the world diverse, for all to rise in unity.

Roseline Souebele is a resident of Hope House