Michael B. Jordan didn’t make it out of 2020 unscathed — but, as the actor admits, he’s a glass-half-full kind of guy.
“When everybody’s going through a shared tragedy and pandemic, there’s so much negativity and depression and fear that’s just circulating around. I think we all have to go through that on our, in our own time, through our own process,” he tells Yahoo Life. “We’ve all lost something. It’s all affected somebody or something that we cared about. And I think through that we had to try to find the silver lining.”
While maintaining optimism is easier said than done, the 33-year-old channeled his energy into working on initiatives where he could make a difference.
“I’ve always kind of enjoyed being a fixer,” he says. “All the police brutality and the issues that were taking place this past summer, it gave us an opportunity to come together in solidarity for an issue and make an impact and allow voices to be heard. Being able to use my platform in a way to align with like-minded people, with passionate people, businesses and brands that could share my passion and try to understand the pain and the frustration, and also use their place of privilege as an opportunity to make an impact.”
Through Instagram alone, Jordan has been able to reach his 16.2 million followers with messages about the Black Lives Matter movement, the need for more Black storytelling and the importance of providing for underserved communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“I felt very comfortable and honored to be able to speak up and speak out on things that can make a small difference, can make a small impact that could make [a] big influence in the places that matter,” he says.
Now, he’s working on another initiative to help people and businesses move past the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that individuals can feel safe returning to indoor spaces with the WELL Health-Safety Seal.
“Places like the International WELL Building Institute are actually putting the time, effort and resources into making things as close to normal as possible. Trying to create a new norm by getting us back into businesses, back into restaurants, back into movies, back into the life that we had taken away from us,” Jordan says of the initiative that pairs a COVID-19 task force with businesses to ensure that their spaces are operating with the proper health and safety efforts in mind.
Projects like this are more important to Jordan than ever before as he comes to realize just what the pandemic and the loss of his close friend and Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman have taught him.
“It’s really made me think about how I want to spend my time and what I want to spend my time on, who I want to work with. It really makes me feel like everything that I do I want it to count and mean something,” Jordan shares. “It also lets me know that time is not promised, you know, and we’re all on borrowed time. And to live every day to its fullest as well.”
This is also something that the actor wishes to apply to his work in front of the camera.
“I think I’ve always kind of been very selective and try to make moves that matter and count. I think it just kind of amplifies it and gives me a deeper motivation and a bigger drive to do it on a grander scale,” he says. “To level up, raise the bar and demand that from the people that are around me as well, so we can really leave our mark on this world. It’s something that’s truly important to me.”
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