Community//

It’s Not About Us

This article is about thinking of others too in a time of unknowns, stress, anxiety and fear.

Robyn Graham Personal Branding Expert, Photographer and Podcast Host

Covid-19!   The experience is unprecedented.   History is in the making.  

We are a family of five.  Father, Mother, 20-year-old college student, 18-year-old high school senior, and a 12-year-old sixth grader.  

Thursday morning, I woke up at 5:50am, as usual, followed by with my morning routine of coffee, devotions and journaling, a workout, and packing lunch.  I dropped my daughter off at school and did something totally out of the ordinary. I went to the grocery store first thing in the day, this time, to “stock up”.   

I knew my 20-year-old would be arriving Friday evening or Saturday morning (and he eats a lot) and starting cyber school Monday.  My 18-year-old was going to be home full time and doing cyber school instead of driving to and from school 40 minutes away every day (he eats a lot too). And my husband was going to be working remotely from home indefinitely. The decision was still out on my 12-year-old and when her school was going to move to distant learning.  

On my grocery list was organic frozen fruits and vegetables in addition to our usual cart full of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I had already called the butcher to place a meat order and wanted to ensure that we would have enough fruits and vegetables to have healthy snacks and well-balanced meals in the event we were quarantined for any length of time.   

I was in the moment and thinking solely about my family.   And then, my sister and I spoke via text and she mentioned how she felt so bad about the children in her community in the Mid-West who depended on the meals received through the schools each day.   

Selfishly, I hadn’t given that more than a thought or two.   We live in an affluent area and I was more focused on my family, and the fact that there was no toilet paper anywhere within a hundred-mile radius, than I was thinking about anyone else.   

When my sister mentioned that, my heart sank for the children and the thought of any of them being hungry.    We have less fortunate children and families here too.  In fact, most of them are under the radar, but someone very dear to me has experienced this need within the past year, right in the center of our affluent community.   

Then a few hours later, I received an email saying that my favorite place to volunteer, Face to Face Germantown, was going to have to close because someone had been exposed to Covid-19.   Face to Face is more than a homeless shelter.  It is a hospitality and community center for the marginalized population.   The guests of Face to Face are provided two meals a day, and legal, nursing, and social services five to six days per week.   Until now.  

While my family is well taken care of, with plenty of food to feed us for quite some time, there are children and adults who may have nothing to eat, in our hometown, as well as all over the country.  

How has my day to day changed in the unprecedented situation that is Covid-19?   

1.     My daily thoughts are even more full of gratitude that I have my family under one roof, and our fridge, freezer and pantry are all full.   

2.     The daily prayers I say are even more focused on the marginalized and less fortunate in our community and the country.   

3.     I am cooking family meals every day of the week instead of ordering carry out a day or two a week or going out to dinner.  My son and I are taking turns cooking, we pitch in cleaning up, and our family chats and connects more deeply during each meal.

4.     Our family conversations have shifted to the implications of Covid-19 and how we can help others.  

5.     The discussions are in-depth on the economy, financials, and our loved ones who are immunocompromised, and elderly.  

6.     Together we are watching TV, movies and playing games as a family.  Things we don’t often get the chance to do.  

Although there is a level of fear associated with the unknowns of Covid-19, we have our family, we have a roof over our heads, we have our health, at the moment, and we have food to keep our bellies full for quite some time.   

There are so many others who are suffering; from the virus, from the loss of a loved one infected by the virus, from the loss of a job, from the loss of income during this crisis, from homelessness, or from things we can’t even imagine.  

It’s so easy to be self absorbed in times of uncertainty. I realize more today than ever, that we are blessed and we need to help others using our gifts and blessings.

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