I haven’t been speaking directly to the global pandemic or the racial unrest here in the U.S. very much over the last few months. I have been trying to choose topics that might give you quotes and tools to deal with what is going on “out there” right now. I was waiting, hoping things would calm down a bit, but that just doesn’t seem to be happening. So — here I go, speaking from my heart.
This has been a time of unimaginable sickness, death and social upheaval. I would never try to minimize that. I would also never minimize the seriousness of the situation. But I believe we have been put in “time out” for a reason. Everyone is in a big hurry to get back to “normal.” The problem with that is that in our world “normal” means what most of the people are doing. It has nothing to do with what is good, pure, loving, peaceful or promoting the good for all.
If we look carefully at that “normal” people want to get back to we can see why the world is a mess. We have been destroying our planet, the only home we’ve got. We have institutionalized imagined differences between peoples and declared that some of us are more important than others. Many who are pro-life are supporting the separation of families and detention of children and police brutality, including the murders of people of color. We have forgotten we are created as one with the Creator and each other. Greed and selfishness have taken over with people striving to have more and more while trying to make sure others get nothing.
These things are what many consider the “normal” they want to go back to. I don’t now about you, but I want to move forward to create a world that works for all.
The Black Lives Matter movement has made life uncomfortable for many of us. We are being forced to look at ourselves and our country and answer some hard questions and deal with difficult issues. It is time for Americans admit that our country is not perfect. The atrocities that have been committed against native peoples who already lived in this country and the African people who were captured, enslaved and considered “property” can no longer be swept under that ratty old dirty carpet. We must also realize that “freedom of religion” applies to all not just Christians or one group of Christians.
None of this will be easy — we have a big job ahead of us. The important thing is that we begin and then keep going.
So, now we stand at a crossroads. As I am writing this I am listening to Daniel Nahmod singing Love is My Decision. Perfect timing. We have a decision to make. Are we going to choose love or are we going to continue the quest for money and power that has led to the precipice we now stand at. Are we going to keep going and go over the edge or will we turn around, stand as one and create a new way of living on this earth?
Demanding our right to be reckless and endanger the lives of others, potentially continuing to spread a deadly virus won’t get us there. Neither will racism and trying to create an all white “Christian” nation. Continuing to support a President who continues to divide our country will not get us there either. We can feel compassion for him but his incompetence will only continue to lead us down a dark road.
Take advantage of this time to drink a little deeper from the well of Spirit. Clean house not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well. Look at those old thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, letting go of those that no longer serve the higher good.
These are difficult times. But they can also be be healing times, even exciting times. We have a chance to turn around, “repent” if you will, and create a better world. Will we take it, or will we blow it?
We’re all getting a lesson in the importance of good, clear, and accurate communication in times of crisis right now, aren’t we? Do you feel you have not been getting good information about COVID19? Or maybe you are on overload with too much information? Are you not sure who and what to trust? If you said yes to any of these welcome to the club.
We no longer have to wait for the nightly news to find out what is going on in the world. We learn of major news stories as they are happening, often before there is really much to report. It often seems the need to get something out there takes precedence over accuracy and fact-checking.
So how do we decide who to trust and how do we deal with information overload?
Choose your “experts.” Use sources you consider reliable for your information. The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, or appropriate agencies within your government are essential.
Fact check. Especially if something just doesn’t seem right. Right now I’m checking pretty much everything.
Limit your news coverage consumption. Keep up on things that are important for you to know, but round the clock news during times like these is not good for anybody.
If you want to share things online, pass along “good news” coverage, like stories of how people are reaching out during this time of social isolation.
Realize the importance of the things you can do to protect yourself and others. Saying that this is no more serious than the flu and going about life as usual is dangerous. Do what you can to stop the spread of the disease.
This is far from over, so continue following the guidelines set forth by the CDC and WHO. Don’t try to force things back to the old normal and hang in there.
We know that many are still dealing with the virus and we will be living with the aftermath of this for some time to come. The immensity of the loss of life, jobs, homes, and financial security has not quite hit most of us yet. There will be much grieving for some time . But today I want to talk about what we have learned from this international crisis.
We all know some people have spent this forced “time out” being angry, frightened, bored, hoarding food and supplies, or even profiting from the misfortune of others. Who will ever forget the empty store shelves and the “toilet paper crisis?”
But others have been enjoying the chance to rest, decompress and spend more time with family, learning new information and skills, or just taking the time to do those things at home they never had time for. Some have even used this time to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
People have prayed, meditated, forgiven, and asked for forgiveness. We have discovered new ways to come together and still reach out to others in spite of “social distancing.”
Authorities tell us the virus has temporarily reached a peak, but that it’s not over and will return. The government tells us we must return to work for the economic well being of all, as long as we do so with certain precautions.
My hope is that in the days to come we will not just go back to “business as usual.” Instead, let’s learn important truths from this experience — both good and bad. I hope we will come out of this situation better people who have taken the time to work on ourselves while also finding new ways to help and connect to others and are ready to come together to create a world that works for all.
As I close this month I want to leave you with a few questions: What has changed for you? What have you learned? How will your life be different? What do you want to see continue when we are past the crisis? Let’s talk!
We are returning to our regular blog posts, but I will relate them to what is going on in our world as appropriate. Tomorrow we will begin a month of posts on communication. How does this relate to the circumstances we are currently living through?
So, be safe as we enter into May. Please make your comments on these posts and quotes and let’s start a conversation.
I’ve always tried to keep a small pantry stocked because I don’t like to shop and of course for emergencies. I add to it as I go along by adding an extra item or two to my grocery orders, especially sale items.
Recently I have been reminded of the importance of keeping a pantry stocked to last for 1 to 2 months. First during the aftermath of a major storm at the end of last summer when we were out power for a week. And now during the pandemic when stores are crowded and shelves are often bare from panic buying.
Here are a few of my tips for stocking a pantry.
Be sure you have items that you could actually live with and stay healthy on for a while if you had to. Canned salmon and tuna, natural peanut butter, rice cakes, canned veggies and fruit, pasta and sauce, baking ingredients, shelf-stable milk, rice and other grains, lentils, beans, canned soup are a good place to start.
Check expiration dates and rotate items in your pantry from time to time.
Keep a few snack items on hand so you won’t be running down the chip aisle in a crazed frenzy throwing bags in your cart when disaster strikes. Believe me, I’ve been tempted. The chip aisle at our little neighborhood store is just inside the front door.
Buy one extra of your household essentials when they are on sale. I’ve been spared the mass hysteria in the toilet paper aisle during the pandemic by doing this.
Resist the urge to panic buy or hoard during a crisis. If we all buy only what we need and share with others there will be enough food to go around.
Remember those who produce, package, deliver and sell the food we need are also going through the same things we are. Don’t panic. Don’t let food spoil. If you have more than you can eat before it goes bad, share it with a friend. Eat from your freezer and pantry and get creative in using what you have.