Can you feel it? Can you feel the tension, frustration and fear in the atmosphere? Whether it’s your own or you stumble into someone else’s despair, no one that I know is untouched. Life as we knew it has been catapulted into a frenetic uncontrollable pace that has left many of us unsure of what is to become of us. I’m watching it unravel and my heart hurts for those that are hurting. The worse it gets, the less I miss my son, because I’m so thankful he isn’t here to experience it.
We all woke up in a new world where division, discord, unrest and uncertainty greets us in the morning and stalks us throughout the day. National and social media has become poisonous to our peace, and opinions have become facts drawing lines that were never meant to be. Human contact has been replaced by lines six feet apart, and the smiles of strangers are covered by masks. Desperation, anxiety and depression have become the norm, and no one is spared from the effects of what’s happened to humanity. Wealth doesn’t protect you. Faith doesn’t exempt you. For the first time in my life, we’re all in the same boat, and it seems at any moment it will sink. There’s a heaviness in the air regardless of where you go. I’ve seen more road rage, more rudeness, more suspicion, more hate and more misery than ever before. Isn’t it interesting that as the spirit of fear is given a foothold, divorce rates skyrocket, suicide rates and overdose deaths reach numbers never seen before, and violence becomes bold and accepted?
None of this is news to you. You see it too. You feel it too. We are all bearing witness to a reality that none of us were prepared for. A virus is indeed wreaking havoc on our lifestyle, but it isn’t the check list of multiple symptoms that has caused the most damage. I understand full well that it is dangerous for certain individuals and I personally know someone that lost their life, so I’m not making light of the potential seriousness. Beyond the medical implications, this virus was the catalyst for the frayed nerves that turned a social movement into destruction. It was the catalyst for the breakdown of community and neighborly love. It was the catalyst for the desire to hold onto some sort of control, up to and including wearing a mask, which led to taking our frustrations out on each other. Differing opinions have become battle lines where no one is the winner.
We have become compassionless, aggressive, defensive, hateful and numb to the needs of our neighbors. We’ve become so hyper focused on the unknown that we’re missing what’s right in front of us.
We weren’t meant to live a life of separation and isolation. No man is an island and our lives affect each other, for better or worse. The lack of human contact and the freedom to gather has worn thin what little patience, or better yet the hope that it would pass quickly, any of us had, but we still have choices to make. We can walk this out together in unity or we can continue on the down the treacherous path we are on. We’ve lost control in many areas, but not all. We can still be kind. We can still refrain from lashing out. We can recognize that we still have the ability to make the most of a bad situation, or we can make it worse. Our differences have always existed and they always will, but we can choose to coexist, even during an overwhelming and uncertain time. Our land has to begin to heal, and it has to start before there’s nothing left to heal and all that we’ve known is non-existent. I refuse to let go of community, compassion, or kindness. And I hope you will too. It has to start somewhere, so let it start with us. We have to wake up and see beyond the fear, panic and conspiracies. We have to see each other. We need, now more than ever, to walk beside one another. To encourage one another. And to remind one another that this too shall pass.