We are living in some very unsettling times. It seems that the world barely gets over one disaster before another one occurs. Hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential floods, fires out of control and now, a pandemic of epic proportions. I have frequently told my husband that I think that God is trying to get our attention but we don’t seem to be listening. I think that perhaps that is changing now.
As usual when there is a disaster or a new health concern reported, many of us may acknowledge it but may brush it off because it is occurring elsewhere, not where we live. We become complacent. We act like we care but do we really? Do we care enough to not only listen to the experts but to also follow their suggestions? Why would you stay in your home if a hurricane was predicted to make landfall close to you? Why would you stay to protect your home if a fire was burning out of control and spreading towards you? Why would you disregard the warnings of the medical experts? Why?
Houses, material things, can be replaced but people cannot be. There is nothing more important than a breathing, living soul. We may not personally know that person but someone does. We may not mourn their loss but someone will. Lives will or may be changed forever with the loss of someone close. Why would anyone want to jeopardize the lives of others?
I think that overall, the society in which we live has become selfish. We have become so accustomed to having what we want when we want and therein lies the problem. Perhaps not so much for those of us who are older, but I think it definitely applies to some of the younger generation known as Gen Z and possibly to Gen Y to some degree. Through no particular fault of their own, there seems to be a sense of entitlement amongst them. Perhaps we, the parents, should shoulder some of the blame. I think that as parents we all want our children to have a better life than we had and to experience life at its best. Was this so wrong? Didn’t our parents do the same for us?
Since the beginning of time it has been necessary to have boundaries. With the setting of boundaries hopefully comes respect for others. It is apparent that not enough boundaries have been established for a good many of the young people today or if they were set, the boundaries have been ignored. I was a strong advocate of the “it doesn’t matter what others are doing” club. I was comfortable saying “no”. Was I too strict? Probably at times but I have no regrets. My husband and I did what we thought and felt was right for our kids. Their foundation was solid. Were they perfect? HA! No! They made their share of mistakes, learned the hard way at times and had to face consequences when warranted. As they got older it became more difficult to rein them in but we tried to impress upon them the importance of being considerate of others, to act responsibly, remember who they were and to make decisions wisely, not impulsively.
All of this leads me to the concerns of today. Seeing spring breakers ignoring the warnings and the recommendations of the CDC and the WHO is very troublesome. Seeing people who are not heeding the advice to socially distant themselves from others, people who are hoarding food and supplies…I could go on and on. When will this stop?
As a person of faith, I believe that God sends us messages along the way to get our attention. I am not saying that natural disasters or illnesses happen in order to punish us. What I am saying is that every now and then we all need to be reined in. It is often during times of crisis that the best in people comes out. People rally together to help each other. We put the needs of others first and do whatever it takes to help restore some sense of normalcy. This is how it should be. It is not about us as individuals but it is about our helping our neighbors both near and far. Why should it take a critical moment in time to bring out the best, not to enable, but to work together to make things better? I’m sure there are many answers that would be valid.
The pandemic that the world is now experiencing has brought much fear and uncertainty to everyone. The sooner we all start to work together to flatten the curve; the sooner we realize the impact of our actions however minimal they may seem…the sooner we hopefully will return to normalcy or what most likely will be the “new normal”.
Respect, boundaries, working together, having concern for those around you…is it worth all of the partying to possibly jeopardize someone you love or even a total stranger? Is it worth all of the spring breaks to jeopardize yourself? None of us are invincible.
God is and has been trying to get our attention for so long. We need to preserve, protect and conserve our natural resources and our health. We need to honor what has been given to us and not destroy it, whatever it may be.
We all need to say that “we are listening” and let our actions prove that. Are you listening, not just hearing, but truly listening? I hope the answer is “yes”. Together we can make a difference.
Peace and Blessings to all who read this.