This has been on my heart for since all the craziness started.
All around me, I see fear. Not love. Not even complete facts. Fear.
Out of fear, cities, counties and states have shut down businesses, many of which are small and will never reopen. Many of which have had to let go of employees, even temporarily.
Out of fear, we have turned a strong economy into a shaky one, which has been reflected in our financial and commodities markets.
Out of fear, people have started to “socially shame” their family, friends and neighbors, even as they complain of being shamed for making different choices.
Out of fear, people are isolating themselves from the very support systems that can help them.
These are just a few examples.
Nobody knows what is going to happen. Nobody. Not even the infectious disease experts that are actively working on diagnosing, treating and preventing the coronavirus.
None of us are omniscient.
None. Of. Us.
And yet, all around us, we see people acting as if they can predict the future, using whatever “information” they have that supports their beliefs.
A meme is not a fact. Social media is not a credible news source. Sharing an unsubstantiated “news story” does not make it a fact.
We’re all entitled to our opinions and we don’t have to think alike. Maybe you’re worried about contracting the virus, believe the worst-case scenarios and have chosen to strictly abide by the rules or even go further and isolate yourself from the world. Maybe your loved one believes the best-case scenario and has decided to live his or her life as normally as currently possible. Maybe your friend is concerned about the impact it will have on her business and ability to provide for her family and employees. Maybe your neighbor has lived through the devastating consequences of having his personal freedoms taken away and is concerned about it happening all over again.
We don’t have to agree with the opinions of others any more than they have to agree with ours. But if we want them to respect our right to think and act differently, we should afford them the same courtesy.
It’s the Golden Rule after all.