This is not a time for ‘I’.
This letter originally began as a rant, but evolved into sadness more than anger and pride more than resentment.
At this time, small things have disproportionate effects and keeping that in mind helps to moderate reactions, but perhaps should not result in silence, change does not come with silence.
Feeling mildly guilty, my husband and I drove to Fort Langley with our home-made coffee to sit and watch the river – guilty because we were not at home where we spend the majority of our time, but only mildly guilty because we had no plans to get out of the car, or interact with anyone else.
As we came down the hill heading to Fort Langley, we could see people grouping around a tee box on the golf course.
In sadness I could only think how a health care worker would have felt; watching people grouping together on the golf course, could only imagine what their work day or night had been, imagine decisions they made during their day, imagine alternating joy at any small cause for joy, or sadness when the virus won.
Their decisions did not involve what club to pick, or how to navigate a water hazard.
Our current world is filled with instances where we must say no to ourselves…
Can we visit and hug our grandkids? No.
Can we visit family or friends who are alone in their homes? No.
Can we meet for those weekly card games or head to a movie, or to the gym? No, no and no.
Can we indulge in all our normal behaviours, which would now expose us and by extension others to invisible dangers? No.
The danger we are experiencing is invisible, it may not have touched anyone we know, we may feel distanced from information we only see through media, these things give a false sense of comfort… “doing this is fine”… “nothing is going to happen to me”… “I am not really doing anything wrong”… “I am healthy”… thoughts that involve a tremendous amount of ‘I’ .
This is not a time for ‘I’. That’s an experience, new for many of us who have lived a life relatively free from personal restrictions, where ‘I’ has taken on a huge focus.
On the opposite side we can say ‘yes’ to FaceTime visits.
We can say ‘yes’ to cyber coffee times with friends.
We can say ‘yes’ to making deliveries for those unable to leave their residences.
We can say ’yes’ to outside time socially distanced from those not within your household; ’ yes ‘to phone calls or window visits to friends or loved ones in care homes so they know they are not forgotten; ‘yes’ to thankful thoughts to all those who are supporting us in every aspect of our very confusing lives.
We will come out of this, thanks to the determination and dedication shown by so many people every day.
We will look back on this time and hopefully remember that it was not an ‘I’ philosophy that brought us through, but a time when we thought and acted for the benefit of those around us.
Pat Macdonald, Langley
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