Instead of discussing bakery operations during a pandemic, I’d like to talk to you about hope.

I recently heard a definition that resonated with me. It went something like this: “Hope is choosing to believe and act as though the future will be better than the present.” In these strange days and with the future so uncertain, hope has, in a sense, become a vital nutrient.

But where does it come from? For me, hope began when I saw good things emerging from this crisis like a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk.

The May issue represents the first time Baking & Snack put a magazine together while being totally separated from one another.

But, on some level, it brought us closer together. We have meetings several times a week, and for the first time, no one is absent. We also pay a lot more attention to one another … at a conference table, it’s hard to make eye contact with the person two down and to the left, so it’s nice to see everyone’s faces at once on a video conference.

My favorite team meeting is the one that happens at the end of the work week, where we each share the biggest challenge and favorite win of the week. In the past, deadlines, vacations, family obligations and business travel made team happy hours hard to come by.

I’ve also noticed that I’m talking to people on the phone, perhaps more often than we spoke in person at the office (especially when, despite the IT department’s herculean efforts, I still lose the neighborhood battle for the WiFi).

Across departments and other Sosland publications, we’re making a conscious effort to understand various challenges, and we’re seeking perspective from teams we might not have otherwise.

At home, my family eats three meals a day together and discovered we can peacefully coexist under one roof for a seemingly inordinate amount of time. I check on my siblings. My friends check on me. My neighbors smile and wave as we politely veer away from each other while out for a run.

I have experienced the inherent good in people.

And that gives me hope.

I see creativity and problem solving. I see leadership, kindness and ingenuity where it didn’t exist before. Then again, maybe it was always there, and I just didn’t stop to look.

That said, would I jump at the chance to attend an industry event? You bet I would. And I’d trade every Zoom happy hour to see my kid play soccer with his friends, too.

Things aren’t perfect. They certainly weren’t perfect before, and they won’t be down the road. But if we can choose to believe — and act — as though the future can always be better than what it is right now, then we’ll find the good inside what trials await down the road.

I hope the unprecedented challenges you have faced in your bakery, manufacturing facility, R&D lab, office or home have, at the very least, uncovered some good you didn’t know was there. And I hope in the discovery of good, you also find hope.

This editorial is from the May 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire issue, click here.