Did you wake up today? If the answer is yes , then you are already having a better day than the 105 people that will die globally in the minute it took you to read that sentence. ( that’s the normal death statistic not corona virus specific) I understand there is fear, and uncertainty. It is scary to not have all the answers in a world that has become so used to instant results and answers. I will admit when the news of the corona virus started I was not phased. In true American fashion I’m desensitized to the news. School shootings and illness feel like white noise most days. We as American’s have developed a keen ability to not worry about anything major. “eh nothing will ever happen to us here in the U.S” ( although history would state otherwise).
We are a country of extreme privilege. Our parents generation and younger haven’t had any global crisis of this magnitude. We quickly move on and go about living our lives when something big happens. We haven’t had anything to disrupt our lives in a major way until now. This is a wake up call that I hope we learn from. People all over the world wake up in fear over where their next meal will come from. They wake up wondering if a bomb is going to blow up their family. They worry how they will walk hundreds of miles with their children in hopes of a better life. Somewhere there are women and children waking up to rebels taking over their village. Some people will wake up in tent cities right in this very country with no idea how they will eat or survive the cold. People live like this all over the world every single day , and we in this country are angry our children will miss a big game or prom!
We have strayed from values of decades past. We now put so many things above family meals, face to face conversations, and having moral values. I see many posts angry about seniors missing out on prom or a big game. Don’t get me wrong, I loved sports when I was in High School. I too would’ve been devastated. That is because as a teenager with no life expierences I wouldn’t have know any different. As an adult what saddens me is how many of us are putting so much value and worth in our children’s extra curricular activities. Aren’t we missing the point? The real lesson we learn in sports, band, or drama club? Kids learn honesty, integrity, work ethic, respect of themselves and others, confidence, and how to accept criticism. So yes, they will miss the big game or event, and yes it will hurt and there will be sadness. It’s ok to be sad for the loss of a memory that could of been. Your child already received the good stuff , the lessons that actually carry over into adulthood. As for Prom, its a dance, a memory to be made. Your children will have many more of those chances to make memories. My favorite memories have nothing to do with what I was doing at the time but rather who I was with. The gift is a long life for our children to make memories, not a certain set of things we have deemed most important.
We are getting a very minimal look into what our great-grandparents and grandparents felt 91 years ago during The Great Depression. We joke about that generation keeping everything, and not buying in excess. Its abundantly clear to me at this very moment that they had it right.
My hope is all of this panic will at the very least wake us up! Remind us what really matters, what is really important. I can tell you right now, its not my piles of clothing and shoes I have in my closet. It is wasn’t going to State in track or that record we broke. We have lost sight of what matters. Material things, status, and sporting achievements have somehow moved way to high up on our lists. This pandemic is happening as all things do, for a reason! I believe it is an opportunity to make changes in ways we might not of before. It will force us to evaluate what is important to us. Force us to come together with compassion. To care for our elderly population. To start to grow our own food that isn’t riddled with chemicals. To start to get back to community mindset and caring for each other.
Life is what you make of it. You can sit around and complain, or you can find the light in the darkness. There will be moments of frustration, and I will have moments of insanity with my children being home more. There will be jokes told and memes created. I enjoy most of them, humor isn’t a bad thing.
I will try to focus on what matters more often. I will wake up happy to be alive. I will be grateful I have clean water. ( Did you know 1 in 3 people globally have no access to clean drinking water?) I will be grateful I have a safe home to live in with heat and air conditioning. I could go on and on. Guys, we have SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!! Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t.
Did you wake up today? Yes! Ok, now what are you going to do with that gift?