By Berni Steinbach
We are coming to terms with our selves in ways which will underscore the blessings of our common humanity.
The hush and calm so often sought as a refuge from the ordinary has become an oddity, a frightful presence amidst the bare-bones of normal. Government orders and advisories appear like speech-balloons above our cartoon expressions of disbelief and/or thankfulness. Social distancing or physical distancing (your preference) makes the refrain, “Personal Space!” a comic reference to a bygone self-identity. Nearly empty streets and avenues, hollow apartment corridors, and vacant playgrounds are the ghost town overlay where, in reality, individuals still exist.
To the extent we are able, we observe, sense, feel, think, communicate, and survive. We have not been washed off the face of the earth, but in the words of a dear friend, “we are huddled together in a surreal kind of passing over with indiscriminate loss of life that is so truly and utterly breathtaking and without mercy.” Anxiety, fear, sadness, restlessness are all real hazard lights flashing continuously at the multitude of intersections which define our individual circumstances. We can’t dismiss them and hope they don’t turn red before we move to the next block, but we can and should confront them knowing these confounding human characteristics feed into a larger confluence. A convergence where hope, love, compassion, help, and understanding create uplifting conditions.
The constructive human qualities we share exist in relationships defined by family, friends and community. Our spirit of purpose and self-confidence rises when we acknowledge each other as more than other people who join us in our specific environments. To trust and embrace is the command of this time. Commonly held differences of opinion must give way to refreshed perspectives and consideration. While “we are in this together” sounds as trite as “it takes a village” and “teamwork makes the dream work,” the underlying idea is a reality the emphasis on individuality tends to subdue. If we look at examples set by persons who step up during times of crisis, we can surely discover our own pathway to resilience!
Some people prefer sunsets over sunrise. Now is not the time to prefer one or the other; now is the time to recognize uplifting particulars where and whenever they occur. Coming to terms with our selves, our condition, and our future depends on giving and receiving the light of unity even as our horizon remains foggy.
Peace be with you.