COVID-19: A Perspective

Over the past week I have largely isolated myself from my personal social media particularly FaceBook and Twitter. Even before the global pandemic and lock-downs were put in place, I did not watch cable news or much television for that matter. I refuse to watch the national press briefings and of late, I refuse to watch press briefings on local news channels.

This self-isolation from social media and news has greatly relieved my stress. It has caused me to reflect on my behavior, my reactions and the reactions of family, friends, my state of Michigan and the United States collectively during this global pandemic.

We are all hurting.

We are all judging.

We are all scared.

Each one of us comes from a place of hurt that causes us to react to crisis in our own unique way. Each one of us is hurting from being isolated and locked-down. And this is where the judgment comes in because some of us have experienced varying degrees of loss from death, health, employment, and the enjoyment of the freedom to buy, do, or simply to hug our family. We are scared that this new normal will not only be unending, but may change us forever. Depending upon one’s view would that be a bad thing? Before you judge, listen.

We are all forgetful.

As Americans who supposedly live in the wealthiest country in the world, we forget that many around the world have lived in our current circumstances for generations. They have suffered from our isolation, hunger, broken or non-existent health care and education for generations.

When the global pandemic ceases to exist and our lock-downs are lifted, will we remember those who were essential to carrying us through this crisis much less our neighbors around the world?

Will we continue to point fingers rather than bow our heads in forgiveness for our lack of compassion and empathy?

Will we comfort each other for trying our best even though our best may have caused further discomfort and anguish?

Will we forget our own sins only to remember someone else’s?

Our divisiveness has caused us to look at our individual place of hurt rather than our place to serve the greater good.

We are not in this together.

We are not in this together while our words and actions are to condemn, confuse, or convict from our individual place of hurt from our leadership on down.

End of the Road Psalm 139

Words matter.

Actions matter.

The world matters.

You and I matter.

Our forgiveness is not just for others, it is for us too. When we recognize our individual place of hurt that causes us to judge and ridicule others, let us voice the words and actions that exemplify our forgiveness and love for one another and ourselves. If we can draw upon that strength and courage of forgiveness, we elevate from our own individual place of hurt to join others towards solutions not only for today but beyond this crisis.

When we become in it together, we will be better prepared for the next crisis.

I cannot tell you what to feel, what to say, what to do. I can only show you. It begins with me. If there is a positive of this pandemic from my perspective, is that I hope I never forget how this crisis made me think, how it made me feel, how it made me act in the company of others or by myself. I hope I have learned the lessons in forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude irrespective of occupation, title, red or blue beyond today and beyond my own place of hurt.

I do not need to un-friend, un-follow, or block anyone in my personal social media because I recognize that place of hurt. I may never truly return to my personal social media. It reminds me too much of the places of hurt that drive the divisiveness in the United States and the world. If I do stop in with a cup of coffee or a scotch (neat, please) in hand, I’ll post a #JoyPhoto. I’ll leave my thoughts and prayers at the voting booth, in my prayer journal, and right here on my blog along with my volunteering/mentoring activities.

Stay home. Stay safe.

Will you join me in being in it together? (At least 6-feet apart, thank you.)


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