“We are not all in the same boat, we are each in our respective boats, afloat in the same storm.”
My sister-in-law posted a piece someone had written today based on this concept – perhaps you saw it too. I enjoyed reading it on so many different levels.
Yes, we are all experiencing this time in our lives in radically different ways. And yes, all our boats look different. But one of the things I feel has shifted for us collectively, is our ability to really see each other’s boats.
It’s normal for us as humans to go through times where we are so consumed with our own turmoil and story that we fail to see everyone else has their stuff too. But in today’s world? It’s all there in plain view.
North Americans are often characterized as being far more autonomous than people brought up in Europe. Generally speaking, we have been raised to believe we need to take care of ourselves, stand on our own two feet, and get by without the help of others. We are one of the few societies in existence where women have babies, and then are expected to go home to deal with the aftermath by themselves. Aging parents often live alone. Taking meals to a family in need is something special instead of the norm. And we live in apartment buildings or in neighborhoods without ever really getting to know the people who live around us.
Then along comes Covid-19 and the self-sufficient pendulum has swung to the extreme. I believe our quarantined life has increased our levels of compassion and has deepened our desire to do more for others. Have you felt a shift? Maybe that will be one of the take-aways from this crazy time in our lives. I for one have had many more interactions with my neighbors in the last month (from a distance of course) and I love my walks where everyone is eager to exchange hellos with a smile.
Let’s see what happens as we contemplate re-entry.
There are no more stories about hoarding toilet paper but oh what we would give for a crystal ball.
One thing I know for sure is I will not have any control about what comes next and neither will anyone else. So let’s just make peace with that right now. Some might try to whip us into another state of panic and despair so let’s make the decision now to be non-reactive. Let’s decide right now to be confident that no matter what happens, we will be able to find our way through it. Our power will always rest in our ability to make a decision. And no one can take that power from us. We made it this far, right?