In times of hardship we react. We adapt. The survival instinct will dictate the course of our actions. The direction might be questionable sometimes.
One of my biggest concerns linked to the whole pandemic situation is that these peculiar circumstances will affect in a negative manner the way we interact.
I would not want to see how under the fear’s command individuals of a highly social species isolate themselves extensively.
I would not want to see the possibility of infection used as an excessively excuse to avoid one another. Perfect argument to keep us apart. My point goes beyond the necessary preventive and social distancing measures. It is always yes for health and safety. It is a no for a perfect pretext taken out of the context.
I decided to write about this after a personal reaction, I am not proud of.
A few days ago, I bought a coffee to go from a gas station. Sitting on a bench was a homeless man (or someone who looked it could be one). I passed by him, took steps further and turned back. I left the coffee on the bench. He looked like he needed it more than me. He was sitting toward one end of the bench. I left the coffee on the opposite side. He turned and my instinct was to take a step back. To keep the distance, even though there was enough distance between the poor man and me. There I was. Healthy, well dressed, well fed. Privileged. And my reaction. No excuse. I came back with some food.
I was sad and the episode still weights on me because in normal circumstances I would have never hesitated. And I questioned myself: do I really want to become a person who hesitates to give a helping hand?
Being kind and decent human beings is a moral duty.
We all have fears and needs, and families and friends to protect. But letting fear fog our judgment will not improve a dire situation. Not wanting to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes and refusal of seeing further than our own little bubble, will not make things better for ourselves. Will just place us in denial.
For our overall well-being, as individuals and society, it is essential not to forget to be good humans.
Together we are stronger. A shared burden is an easier burden. And especially in times of hardship kindness and altruism must be the guiding forces.
A day later after the coffee episode, I went out for a short walk (yes, keeping the distance and wearing the mask). On my way I had to stop at one pedestrian crossing running over tram lines. I spotted early the tram. And I stopped. Even though there was more than enough time for me to cross. I was in no rush. The tram approached and to my surprise, the lady tram conductor, waved at me and smiled and thanked me. For the simple act of waiting, I received back so much more. The joy was priceless.
The incident still puts a smile on my face! I was reminded that small gestures can make a big difference. I was reminded that the warmth of kind soul is irreplaceable.
We do need one another, and we need human interaction. And these are words written by an introvert 😊 We need smiles, and kindness.
While engaging in our own personal battles, let’s not ignore the ones next to us. A strong community is a supportive community. A community is not built in isolation.
Empathy will harm no one. Gracious acts of kindness will not solve all world’s problems, but will make the world a little better. A better place for us to treasure, together.
Stay safe and healthy.
Lots of love,
Sharing Simple Words