Idris Elba shared a message of hope with the people of the U.K. through a poem for the BBC. The beloved act has seen the tribulations of coronavirus up-close as he recovers from his own diagnosis. So, it was time for Elba to dial-up Don’t Quit from the writings of American poet John Greenleaf Whittier. The famous “Fireside Poet” designed his work to be enjoyed by a wide swath of people in their homes. Sometimes, messages don’t have to be grandiose to get the job done. The simple show of caring for people at this time can go a very long way as the days roll on.
Elba began, “When things go wrong as they sometimes will; when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill; when the funds are low but the debts are high; when you want to smile but you have to sigh; when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must but don’t you quit,”
Back when he first revealed his diagnosis on social media, the Wire star called for unity and issued a challenge for followers to do their part.
A message from all of us, to all of you. Together we'll get through.
‘Don't Quit' read by @IdrisElbaApril 10, 2020
"What's up guys, so look, this morning I got some test results back for coronavirus, and it came back positive. Yeah. And it sucks. Listen: I'm doing okay, [wife] Sabrina [Dhowre] hasn't been tested, and she's doing okay. I didn't have any symptoms. I got tested because I realized I was exposed to someone who also tested positive. I found out last Friday that they were tested positive; I quarantined myself immediately and got tested, and got the results back today.
Look, this is serious. This is the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands. Beyond that, there are people out there who aren't showing symptoms, and that can easily spread it, okay? So now's a real-time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance, okay?
We've told our families, they're very supportive. We've told our colleagues. And transparency is probably the best thing for this right now. If you're feeling ill, if you feel like you should be tested or feel like you've been exposed, do something about it. Alright? It's really important.
Look, we live in a divided world right now, we can all feel it, it's been bullsh*t. But, now's the time for solidarity, now's the time for thinking about each other. There are so many people whose lives have been affected - from those who have lost people that they love, to people that don't even have it and have lost their livelihoods. This is real, alright?
Had you ever heard this poem before? Let us know in the comments!