Community//

Divided We Fall

A Lesson In Perception

Jeff, a former marine, is obviously unnerved by the extreme changes made due to COVID-19. “It is amazing how fast people bowed to the government and stayed inside. The government is trampling on our constitution”.

The 57 year old Republican is apprehensive about the decisions being made, “You shouldn’t be able to tell people how to live their lives. Especially the government”.

He’s not alone in his fears. A few Americans are already fed up and have taken their grievances to court, suing their respective states. 

“So far, we haven’t had draconian methods, like armed police blocking people’s movement in the streets, surveillance and phone tapping,” said Larry Gostin, a public health lawyer at Georgetown University. 

“But we are seeing lockdowns of millions of citizens like we have never seen before. We are on the precipice of something that could transform American values and freedoms.”

I think everyone is having a hard time comprehending the absurdity of it all. It is absurd. It’s incomprehensible. How is this real life? 

America on precipice of transformation

This man was willing to sacrifice his life for our country to protect the freedoms we hold so dear. His values have been ingrained in him and his feelings are valid. 

Regardless of our feelings toward the government, we need to work together to encourage people to follow the guidelines, even if they seem ridiculous. 

  • So we can save more lives.
  • So we can get our businesses open again.
  • Dear God, so we can get our kids to school next year!
  • And yes, so we can once again have American freedom.

Could you imagine being in his shoes? No one really can. But, we can be empathetic about his viewpoint.

Let Compassion Reign

I sincerely believed pandemic would bring out the best in us. Some Americans are bringing humanity to life.

Local restaurants are pivoting their business by working with citizen donations to provide food to hospitals and other care workers.

Chef Jose Andres‘ organization along with other celebrity chefs have served more than 750,000 meals across America since the outbreak of the COVID-19. 

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees who have incurred loss of employment or a decrease in wages.

Blaum Bros Distilling Company is making their homemade hand sanitizer free to those in need.

Air bump now, fist bump later

There are so many other acts of everyday kindness happening all over the world. So why is there still so much animosity? Anyone been on social media lately? Yikes.

I had envisioned a transcendence of humanity that would reign supreme. I wasn’t expecting kumbaya, but at least a little more kindness and compassion. Most of us are empathetic to the patients and families afflicted by COVID-19, but not to each other. The divide is greater than it has ever been before.

Suffering In Different Ways

Dawn, an Association Operations Director of 25 years, says “I really didn’t pay attention to what was going on with the virus until my boss mentioned it. He’s 70, with underlying conditions”. 

Sitting back in her chair lighting a cigarette she says, ”Everyone was very relaxed about it. He’s a strong, smart man. I knew he was capable of making decisions for himself. Eventually though, we started working from home”.

Although she still feels a bit apathetic, the 41 year old political Independent is finding life much more difficult in isolation.

“It’s hard to stay mindful and the depression is creeping back in. I’m a hermit crab, so this stay at home thing can be great sometimes. I’s just the barrage of fear that takes over me”. She puts her fingers to the sides of her head, rubbing as if she had a headache.

The world is upside down.

“It’s the media. The media is like a weapon. It can make you believe anything. You have to be careful about only using one source for news. You have to do your homework. The amount of misinformation out there makes my head spin”.

Squishing her cigarette butt into her ashtray, she waves her hand through the lingering smoke. “I know I need to quit”. I can hear the despair in her voice. 

“Listen, I know I’m not smart enough to figure this stuff out. I’ll defer the big decisions. That’s why they call them experts”.

Depression is a serious illness and it’s imperative you address it early. Isolation can be a dangerous trigger for many illnesses included PTSD, Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, among others. As someone who has suffered from mental illness, I can speak for myself when I say it can be a dark place.

If you or your loved one is showing signs of depression, please do not hesitate to call The National Helpline for guidance.

Could you imagine being in her shoes? No one really can. But, we can be empathetic about her viewpoint.

Abundance Mindset

Allison, a 44 year old business owner says, “Media is the worst in fear-mongering”.

The conservative Libertarian is overwhelmed and her pain is palpable. “I don’t think we should have shut down everything”.

Small business generates about 44% and two-thirds of new jobs, while driving our economy with innovation and competitiveness.

One analyst predicts that the disruption to businesses from coronavirus could lead to 15,000 permanent retail store closures in 2020. The Economic Policy Institute predicts that the disease outbreak could potentially wipe out three million jobs from the U.S. economy before this summer. Read that again. 3 million jobs. Small business owners are being absolutely crushed.

“If you were compromised or sick or old or scared out of your mind, then you stay home and have your groceries delivered to your house. I have an older compromised mother who feels the exact same way”. Allison’s fears are valid. Will her business ever recover? Can she float financially until, God knows when? And she’s angry. She’s in that mindset.

Sorry we are closed

This moment will define humanity. We have been forced to stop in our tracks. So stop. Stop looking at what you can’t do and start looking at what you can do. When we get into a poverty mindset that’s what the universe will return. Start to live in an abundance mindset. Believe you will receive abundantly, no matter what your circumstance.

Could you imagine being in her shoes? No one really can. But, we can be empathetic about her viewpoint.

Parenting In A New World

Donna, a stay-at-home mom, tries to adjust the messy bun on her head as she says over and over again, “I can’t believe this is real life”.

nce she’s settled in I ask if she thinks the government is doing the right thing. “Look, I don’t want to get too political. That man makes my blood boil. But honestly, I have absolutely no idea. I am not a scientist or some expert in pandemics”, explains the fifty year old Democrat. “I guess we’ll find out if they are appropriate, hopefully sooner rather than later”.

Donna then throws her hands in the air as if to say “lord help us”, as she wails with a little giggle, “They were plugging their ears yelling “lalalala” just like my 10 year old used to. They weren’t listening. They had no damn plan and now we have our pants around our ankles”.

Trying to comfort our children

She slumps in her chair and softly says, “My kids are suffering. The younger kids keep each other busy, but I have a Senior in high school”. Her eyes filling up with tears she explains, “My son is devastated. No graduation, no prom, no friends. No school. He actually misses school”. 

She looks away, “I know, first world problems, right? I know we are saving lives, but it doesn’t make it easier. He’s not doing well and I don’t know how to help him”.

Seeing your kids in pain is one of the most agonizing things parents will ever go through. Your heart actually physically hurts.

Could you imagine being in her shoes? No one really can. But, we can be empathetic about her viewpoint.

Perception Is Reality

We are particularly unique, made up of a series of events and experiences. It affects who we are, the future decisions we  make, and how we interact with others.

“Perception is reality”, my former boss said in my quarterly review. “I know you are getting the projects done on time and under budget, but the perception in the office is that you’re lollygagging”.

I was 25 and full of piss and vinegar. I was pissed! I mean come on! I work my ass off. Reality is reality not perception!

Perception is reality

Two people can look at the same thing but perceive two different things. We all have different viewpoints. And in our minds, it’s our truth. And that’s ok. We all walk our own journey. Trashing other’s viewpoints just does more damage. So why are we doing it?

My husband and I have debated since the day we met. We are the couple who argues about whether sun is shining or it’s raining. (It’s raining btw). Two things we decided we couldn’t discuss—-religion and politics. (Sounds like Thanksgiving dinner, right?). Guess what, we still love each other. We still respect each other’s viewpoint. We have different perspectives and that’s ok. When in doubt, walk away.

Here We Are

Wherever you go, here we are. Whether we like it or not, this is where we’ve landed.

It is planet ‘OMG IS THIS REAL’.
Welcome and enjoy your stay.

It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. No one could have predicted how this would go or how to make the perfect decision. We can’t please everyone.

This is operation: ‘SAVE LIVES‘, folks. That’s the mission.

We are all being affected in very different ways.

  • A former marine put his life on the line to uphold the constitution, now feels it’s slipping away.
  • A small business owner has more questions than answers is left with her doors closed.
  • A corporate business woman is finding it harder and harder to keep her depression at bay.
  • A stay-at-home mom is frantically trying to find a way to comfort her desolate child.

Here’s the thing. We CAN accept our circumstances without abandoning the truths we hold so dear. Say this out loud. We CAN accept our circumstances AND still hold the truths we hold dear. 

  • Whether you agree the government is making the right decisions or not. 
  • Whether you feel you are safer or not. 
  • Whether you think our economy will bounce back or not. 
  • Whether you think life will get back to normal or not.

Empathy, People

Riddle me this. 

Let’s say you’re a Democrat and and your neighbor’s a Republican. You’ve had more than a few bitter conversations and have complete disdain for one another.

Then you get a call.  Your neighbor is dying. Will you feel moved to be there for her? Will you comfort her? Will you do everything you can to help in her time of need?

Of course you will. 

We need to be there for each other

This is the core of it all.

What makes the battle of coronavirus different?
Our neighbors are dying and they need you.
And someday, you may need them too.

Our human desire is to live. Let’s do our part to make sure that happens.

I thought about reaching out to my old boss. To thank him. I know he was trying to teach me, it just took me a little longer to understand. If I had, life would have been much sweeter.

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