It’s a hard time and we are all stressed. Surely people who are used to have family and friends around are suffering, but even people who prefer to be alone are suffering from loneliness. It’s strange and heartbreaking. What’s going on is complicated and yet very simple with a dash of sudden clarity too.
We were working very hard to build inclusive society. Time and time again i was listening to people who asked for compassion towards others. So what gives when we see a person without mask? We don’t know if they have medical exemption. Are you just passing by? Smile? Cross street? Get angry? Does it change if they drink or eat? What about young or old? Skin colour? Age? Weight?
If you think about it, our reactions say more about us, than the person we saw on the street. We all have a breaking point. What’s yours? You don’t have to share it with, but in your heart of hearts you know it.
Let’s think about it. We have to accept responsibilities and try to do our best. This is not unique now and my personal opinion is resting within balance of freedoms and responsibilities. Balance is the hardest to achieve and it requires constant personal checks.
Over the years there were situations where my attitude was gullible (borderline naive). Many times it resolved in people trying to take advantage of me, but I don’t regret being open.
In pre pandemic days, my guilty pleasure was reading alt left and alt right sides of politics for the sake of gathering information. It helped me to understand things better and maintain my views (proudly centre of politics). So what’s changed? Not much as reading is still important. As long as we remember our strength and limitations, we should gather information from different people.
Please remember that I’m not a doctor or in any position of commenting on health related matters. This is very important, since this post is purely my reaction to exposure to the virus. Can we just not judge and show compassion? Can we still remember that we are all people? Please speak to your health providers if you have any medical questions, with healthy dash of reading added in, while trying to respect each other and difference in our personal circumstances.
Our value system is based on not doing unto others what we don’t want to be done to us. The person on the street is my neighbour and stranger at the same time. The situation itself shows contradiction and complexity of our lives. When we meet, what do we know about each other? Most likely not much. It’s that strange mix, isn’t it? Just remember, it’s a real person. Each person is having their own struggles. Not judging others until we are in their shoes is a wisdom of Ethics of our Fathers. It’s rather very well-known principles with rather complicated practical implications.
After all, it’s hard times and we are all stressed. We don’t know each other as we pass by on the street (okay, i will try to wear my pink mask as colours cheer me up). Just please don’t hesitate to smile at me – i can see it in your eyes.