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A message from Appleseed.

March 25, 2020 - Improvise, adapt and overcome

I got an email this morning from a person who's part of Project Appleseed. I wanted to share it with you all.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

These words are an essential part of the message that Project Appleseed relates to America. They define the character of the Appleseed instructor. And they are exemplified by the great Americans that Project Appleseed memorializes, like Isaac Davis, Samuel Whittemore and Elizabeth Zane.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Never before has this mantra been as relevant to Americans as it is today. And never before has Appleseed been more relevant. The Covid-19 pandemic means self-sufficiency will be the order of the day. It means that we will have to find new ways to accomplish routine tasks. It means that Americans’ priorities will be reset. And it means that there will be a greater need than ever for Project Appleseed.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

For those of us who have survived natural disasters, those words have a personal meaning. Over the past 30 years, I’ve lived through five hurricanes and a tropical storm that have ripped the roof off my home, destroyed my possessions, forced us to use boats to get around our neighborhood, and taught us to live without electricity, organize our neighborhoods for security and get along without many of the niceties of modern living. And we survived just fine.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

The challenges are going to be many. But we are Appleseed. We are more than equal to the task. We have the wisdom of our ancestors and the indefatigable spirit of those who stood up on April 19, 1775, to guide us.

Our shoots may be smaller. Our cadres may only operate locally. But there will be a greater relevance to our instruction. People expect the crisis to bring out the worst in their neighbors. But my experience is just the opposite: Hardship brings out the best in Americans.

In this time of darkness, let us shine.

Let us stand up and be leaders in our communities. In the digital age, we don’t need to meet face to face to lead our community. Let us look after each other and help keep each other safe.

And above all, let us not forget our ideals. As John Adams warned us, our ancestors are watching in judgement. Let us make them proud of their progeny. It is time to show what we are made of. We will improvise, adapt and overcome.

We have a country to save. And we will not falter.