We all have a #COVID story. The events of 2020, and how they impacted and changed us. Some are very positive stories of lives that were enriched as individuals took advantage of the shutdown as an opportunity to connect with their families like they had never before. Or what about the surge in healthy lifestyle changes — at-home workouts, cooking new meals. Before anyone gets mad, yes, there were some horrific experiences during the shutdown — increase in physical abuse, children not engaging in online learning, lack of free meal distribution, and many more. I learned several things during Covid and the social unrest we’ve seen over the last couple of years.
I learned to think for myself. There were (and still are) many opinions about how to handle the virus. It’s important for each of us to listen and decide for ourselves. When airlines discontinued their mask mandate. The country went nuts. The experts were appalled. What was missed was the fact that while they weren’t required, masks weren’t banned either. So, if a traveler is at risk, please wear a mask. And if they’re standing apart from the crowd, hopefully, others will understand and respect that. There were plenty of times I disagreed with what was mandated, but I respected authority enough to keep myself and those around me safe. Watching the protests in the midst of a pandemic was a great example of individuals thinking for themselves. We were all told to stay home, out of crowds, wear a mask, and thousands of people did just the opposite. Cases of COVID in the areas with protests sored. But it was their right. So was it wrong?
It’s ok to turn off the news. We are barraged with messaging and information. It’s everywhere! We can’t look at any #socialmedia or open an email without finding junk mail sent to us because of something we #Googled. For me, it’s gotten to be too much. So, I watch the news just a few times a week; use my weather app for weather. Yes, being an informed citizen is important. But not at the risk of my own stress level. The world hasn’t ended because I quit watching the news. Unfortunately, I could tell you the subject of the first three stories before I turn it on.
Shouting may get someone’s attention, but it won’t keep it. If more than one person is shouting, you can forget getting your message across. Oh, those shouting will get attention, but their message will not be heard. We live in a country in which we have the right to protest anything we believe in. I’m glad about that. And I support any citizen who wants to exercise that right. But the purpose of the protests quits being heard when fires are set, or guns are fired. Then you just have mayhem, and those with the influence to help quit listening and respecting those in protest. Go ahead and shout, but when you’re heard, calm down and state your purpose. Come together with those who can help and together find the answer.
Have faith. In this world you will have trouble (quote from the most quoted text in history). It goes on to say to take heart, we are just traveling through. There is a perfect #God who is ready to come alongside to guide us. And there is an eternal world that doesn’t have the troubles we have here. We need to leave this world a little better than we found it. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control go a long way in living in community with others. We are never all going to agree. That’s the joy and the challenge of being an individual. We each bring our own bias, color, shape, and size to a conversation. Take a breath and listen to the other person. You will learn something you didn’t know before, and can then choose to believe it for yourself or not. Think about it, what if everyone agreed with your most positive conviction? But what if everyone agreed with your darkest thought? What if our definitions of positive conviction and darkest thought are different? We are on this earth for a finite number of days and then we go to the infinite.
Today’s post isn’t my way of saying I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s merely to get you thinking. Comment if you like. Or take a walk, sit alone, and ponder the last few years. What have you learned? How have you changed? And ponder your future, what legacy will you leave in this world?
All the best,
It has been a challenging year in so many ways. All the loss. The death toll was like no other we have seen for so long. But I think the silver lining might have been the realization that life is fragile and we need to be thankful and joyful every day.