United We Stand. Divided We Fall.
Never has this phrase meant more than now…
We have always known that humans are judgmental creatures. That is not news to anyone. What surprised me, however, was how quickly it became a ‘me vs them’ mentality across our nation.
During natural disasters, crippling diagnoses, terrorist attacks, and other isolated threats we typically band together and support one another. If we judge someone’s actions, it is silent or ridden with guilt, because we aren’t in their shoes. None of us know what we would or would not do if we lost a loved one in a terrorist attack. We don’t know what treatment options we’d choose if we were faced with a terminal illness. We can speculate, but because we aren’t in the same boat, we can thank our stars that we do not have to make those decisions, and choose to love on the person who does.
This Coronavirus crisis has caused many people to forget that we should still be united, even while divided.
This is not the time to call 911 when a neighbor has a BBQ in their backyard (true story!) 911 dispatchers are being bombarded with adults tattling about people not adhering to the “law”. This is not the time, nor is there EVER a time, when it is ok to throw an elderly dementia patient to the ground for violating the social distancing recommendations. That elderly woman died.
I can’t count how many memes, gifs, and outright rants I’ve seen from people I consider friends yelling at people who are choosing not to wear a mask or condemning people for going inside a grocery store instead of eating scraps until the next pickup option opens.
We’ve always had the right to air our opinions about politics, social injustice, and all the hot button issues on our social media pages. The hatred and anger I’ve seen seeping out of Facebook isn’t new, but it is collective.
We all think we know what is best and because we are all doing this “shutdown” together, we are fighting more than ever. It has leaked into our actual interactions, not just our internet interactions. Fighting over toiletries and hand soap is beneath us y’all.
This is historic; we can all agree on that.
Whether or not you feel this is an actual threat, an attack on the economy or an overexaggerated mistake, we are still here, living through it. We can either come out on the other side better or worse because of it.
I personally pray that when we reach that light that is hiding down the tunnel, we will support and lift up our small business owners and our local restaurants. I hope our hair/nail salons and tattoo parlors will be so swamped with work, they’ll easily be able to afford an overpriced vacation when we are finally permitted to travel again! I pray we don’t take our freedom for granted anymore. I pray we continue to prioritize our families and the quality time we have been forced to take will turn into a habit and a gift, not a burden.
This crisis, however long and however scary, can produce good things, if we let it. It could also plant bitter seeds in our hearts that rot and become resentment if we don’t take control of it.
We’re only in charge of so much right now.
Take charge of your attitude, take charge of your social media sharing, and take charge of how you treat your neighbor. No more judgment. No more tattling. No more violence. Choose to be the light. Choose to assume the best. Choose to pray for the person making different choices than you are. Different does not equal wrong.
Let me repeat that… Different does not equal wrong.
Stay united, even when divided. And please, stay safe everyone.
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