In times of crisis, we reveal who we are

A message from Luminari Founder & President Hilda Pang Fu, and the Luminari Team

Since its creation in 2009, Luminari’s mission has been to encourage people to act in ways that create a ripple effect of positive change.

Share your knowledge.

Use your unique talents to serve others.

Listen to and learn from diverse groups of people, without judgment or prejudice.

Foster an environment that inspires and empowers others to take these actions, too.

Never has our mission seemed more crucial than at this very moment in time, when COVID-19 has launched us all into uncharted territory.  

No doubt these extraordinary events are contributing to a tsunami of emotions inside you.  Amidst the fear for your own and your loved ones’ physical and mental health. . . amidst distress about job security and personal finances. . . amidst this surreal new normal of self-isolation. . . we here at Luminari urge you to not lose sight of one emotion in particular: Hope.

Hope helps us move through – and even transcend – a terrible or negative life situation. This fact is well-documented through scientific research: People who embrace hope in a realistic and informed way are better problem-solvers and, overall, more open to the difficulties life often presents.

Fear may paralyze us, or it could provoke us to make desperate, rash decisions. Hope, on the other hand, can inspire us to take constructive actions that improve the odds of a better outcome.

Let’s start by paying attention to science and medical experts. The consensus among our best and brightest non-partisan experts is that we all STAY HOME. If we are to be hopeful that we’ll emerge from this pandemic with as little loss of life as possible, then our hope must be backed up by immediate action. Respect knowledge, respect evidence, and respect science and medical expertise. Just. Stay. Home.

Next, we can hope that our shared dire circumstances lend themselves to greater sympathy, collaboration, and creativity in society. Regardless of whatever differences (real or imagined) separate us, we do now all share one common purpose: Keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors alive. Perhaps that shared goal will be enough to bring us together and replace the political machinations, propaganda, greed, and self-absorbed tendencies that have marred our society for far too long. We simply don’t have the luxury of time to indulge in petty and unproductive grievances (and, in fact, we never have), because they do nothing but stand in the way of progress and equitable solutions.

Ditto on being hopeful that we can prevent xenophobia and ugly prejudices during this pandemic [← link]. We, as citizens of the United States, share a common purpose and responsibility to combat COVID-19. We also share that same common purpose and responsibility as citizens of the world. History has shown us time and time again that malice and bigotry don’t solve problems; and spiteful attempts to lay blame or promote nationalism are nothing more than destructive political ploys. Here is an interview with South Korea’s foreign minister [← link] in which she stresses the importance of global collaboration and governments’ responsibility to stop racist abuse of Asians – please pay attention especially at the end.

This pandemic has the potential to either put a magnifying glass up to our worst tendencies, or shine a spotlight on the very best we have to offer each other in a terrible time of crisis. 

That spotlight has already shone on scores of people around the world. We’ve seen global gestures of goodwill from countries already devastated by the coronavirus, sharing advice and expertise to lessen the burden on other countries [← link] that are just now seeing the opening salvo of COVID-19. We’ve seen moments of grace and community spirit, such as spontaneous singing and music in Italy [← link] or this fitness trainer who lead his neighbors through exercise routines from the roof of his home in Spain [← link].

Nationally, we’ve seen praise and support heaped upon workers ranging from health care professionals to first responders, truck drivers, and grocery store staffers. We’ve seen the Arts community emerge online to lift our spirits with brilliant, free performances from their very own living rooms. Restaurant owners grappling with great financial loss have still found ways to offer free food to communities in need. And our nation’s dedicated teachers closed up their brick-and-mortar classrooms and then, as if by magic, found ways to deliver innovative curriculum online just a few days later.

In fact, each and every one of us has probably witnessed, in these past remarkable weeks, someone in our very own community committing an act of kindness, concern, cooperation, or generosity.  

Why? How about because they have hope that their actions can heel some small piece of this heartbreak.

Throughout history, humans have clung to hope and demonstrated resilience in times of hardship. We will get through this together, protect ourselves, and protect our most vulnerable neighbors, by embracing hope in a realistic and informed way, and taking actions that create ripple effects of positive change.

And in those moments when hope starts to falter, we’ll bolster each other by focusing on what is really important: Not our differences, but our inherent humanity.


About the Luminari Founder & President: entrepreneurial in nature, Hilda Pang Fu doesn’t know anything about laying bricks, yet excels at building both non-profit and for-profit ventures. Global thinker, Social Entrepreneur, Communicator, Librarian, Advocate for gender equity, Hilda speaks three languages and is a porcelain painter. Hilda started Luminari because she believes each of us is a citizen of the world, and we all can use a bit of mind-broadening.

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