• Ashley Nicole

Our World Through Pandemic Glasses

Since almost the start of 2020, with the outbreak of COVID-19, it seems that the world has been turned upside down. Each country seems to be handling things differently, but the overarching theme is that we have gone from societies who encourage people to spend time away from home and with others, to telling them to stay away from human contact and to stay home, to the best of their abilities.

Trips have been cancelled, large events postponed and many of the foundations on which people placed their hope for security have begun to crumble. Many who relied on work or status to give themselves a sense of worth are now furloughed or unemployed. Those who found purpose in spending their days out with friends are stuck alone at home with nowhere to go, separated from others. The people who relied on the comfort and cushion of money to make them feel secure are now facing the reality that the economy may not look exactly the same as it was, after we come out of all of this. We mustn't forget about those who placed their hope in doctors and medicine to be their greatest protector in life, as the illusion of security fades and we hear about thousands who have gotten ill recently and despite doctors' best efforts, just didn't make it.

All of these things open our eyes to the fact that the world and everything we used to stand on seems to be crumbling around us. We are broken. It begs the question of whether we have been standing on the wrong foundations all along. Maybe we need to reshape the way we see the world around us and ask ourselves what is really important. Maybe it's time to sit back and ask if there is something - or someone - greater than ourselves to base our lives upon. Could this be a time that we realize we need something greater to fulfill us than society, and that institutions and material things ultimately can't save us? Just some questions we can ask ourselves as we contemplate our situation and try to figure out how to move forward from here.

We do not know what will happen tomorrow or in the weeks to come. Right now, we are truly faced with the fragility of humanity. Right now, many people are struggling and it's important to remember this.

As we do our best to function within the regulations we are currently faced with, we will see things that we don't agree with. We will see people going against guidelines and doing things we want to do but are restraining ourselves from right now, for the betterment of society. The best thing we can do now is to do what we know to be right.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes, things that we don't see and can't understand. Face to face we aren't able to see the struggles that people are battling with; abuse, depression and poverty are just a few of these many struggles. It is important to be practising kindness to others, to those who follow guidelines to perfection and those who have made adjustments to them. It is not our place to judge, to yell at our neighbours or to make a spectacle of those who do not adhere perfectly, but who are still acting safely within those measures. Our judgements, our yelling and our drawing of attention do not make ourselves feel better nor do they fix the situation. We must learn to practise grace with others, as we are not walking in their shoes. Yes, some people will be acting completely in the wrong, but at the end of the day, we can only be in control of the decisions that we make for ourselves and the way we decide to view and treat others.

I don't know about you, but for my own sanity and because it's the right thing for me to do, I am going to choose to try to practise kindness and grace to those around me. In a world that currently needs more than a band-aid to be fixed, our kindness and grace can go a long way.