For several weeks I’ve had trouble writing a new blog post. I believe the extraordinary, unique stresses, fears, anxieties, irregularities, isolation and other factors from the Covid 19 virus have made it difficult for me to focus and write.
Unsuccessfully I tried three times to write one blog post with words that could bring some peace, light and/or love into the areas of hate, fear, suffering, and confusion in our world. Perhaps many of you have had similar ambiguities in your thoughts. I too never really knew what to say, until now.
“We are all in this together” has been the latest catch phrase. But not all of us are suffering like so many are. Many of those, who are able, are giving what they can of their time and money to help others. But we may not have time and money to help others.
I realize there are many who are suffering beyound what these suggestions cover. It is not my intention to make their burdens seem light or easy to fix.
These suggestions are aimed more at those who may have become so overwhelmed with pain and grief from seeing their world and their neighbor’s, family’s, and others losses that they have turned a blind eye to the suffering just because it hurt too much.
Or perhaps they ignore it because it might bring those losses upon themselves if they acknowledge that they could “in a heartbeat” be just like these people they don’t want to acknowledge.
The following are some simple acts that can be done to promote good will between all people. One is of course the golden rule, said by Jesus, the Christ, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Treat other people like you would like to be treated.) Or in the words of Confuscious: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.”
Be polite to everyone. At the very least be the first to say “please” or “thank you.”
Be kind and thoughtful to others. If someone appears to need help, ask, “Do you want some help?” People with strollers, packages, and/ or children often need help with doors. Please give your seat to elderly people on a bus.
Show compassion or concern for one another. When someone is distraught or suffering. A simple “Are you alright?” lets someone know you are aware that they are suffering or unhappy. Very likely they will say they are okay. But look at what you just did. You let a total stranger know that you saw them and recognized that they were sad, stressed, or anxious. That could go a long way in helping someone just to be seen and noticed.
Allow someone who is upset and crying to express their fears, emotional pain or sadness if you and they are comfortable with this.
Treat everyone as an equal human being. We are all from the same place! We are all of the human race. Skin color, ethnicity, religious faith, sexual preference, does not matter. We are all made by the same Creator.
If someone you are walking towards gives you eye contact, if you feel comfortable give them a friendly smile; listen to your instincts about appropriateness and safety in any situation. If it doesn’t make them feel a little better, it may distract them wondering why you smiled at them. Or you may see their face light up in a big smile.
I have seen people in a long line at the grocery store speak with each other. “How long have you been waiting?” “Do you shop here regularly?” “Poor cashier is really having a rough day.” “Boy is it hot outside!” “Excuse me, do you know where the breakfast foods are?”
If you are in a long line at the store and the cashier is overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, new, young, or making mistakes because of these factors or others beyond their control that you may not know about, please be kind to them. They may have been on their feet for hours already.
Angry, impatient customers (besides making themselves look bad) are only going to make the cashier more nervous and unfocused. How would you feel if you were in their shoes? Please be kind or take the self help check out!!
Don’t always assume that someone is stupid or weird. I know what it feels like to have my self esteem taken away from me by emotional abuse. I was dependent, scared to make decisions, afraid of making mistakes. Can you act normally and calmly when you have a war zone at home or kids who are having trouble in school or in life, or in bad relationships. Try to think about what could be making them feel the way they do. Show the same compassion to others that would make you feel better if you were in their shoes.
Be aware of others. Not only does it make you more connected to your world, it also makes you safer and more alive. We are all people, we shouldn’t have to be alone if we are lonely.
Just try to open your heart to give a little light and love to those around you. I have seen people’s faces change from expressionless to a lit up smile just because I smiled at them. Maybe no one else had smiled at them all day. There are so many people hurting for so many various reasons. We all need some kindness very badly right now.
Thank you for reading this but please don’t let these words freeze on this page and drop off into oblivion. Use them, go out and be kinder, no matter how kind you have been already. Be aware of those around you.
Go out and be more loving and helpful and compassionate and understanding, and more friendly. Be less judgemental, less condescending, arrogant, irritable, angry, frustrated and taking it out on others. We all have problems, why spread them around on other innocent bystanders.
But what can we do about this frustration, the fears, the isolation, this virus which we are allowing to beat us? Next blog post will give some answers to help dissapate some of the frustrations, anxieties, fears, and even anger. Or they will at least give you a small break in the “wars” around you.