I’ve never really experienced a full-on public panic before. I know a lot of people out there have, but to me this is new. It’s too tense. Everyone is tightened up and the behavior is just — off. Look, when we feel like we have to glance over at the people in the grocery store and scan for symptoms, it’s probably a good time to take a step back and reflect. I get it, I’ve done it. It’s embarrassing and it feels mean, but it’s where we are at.
Things are also anxious and stressed. I get why. There is a lot going on, but I believe all of these different types of feelings and what they can do, and where they can take us, push us down a very different and very dark road. These negatives have a way of compounding on top of themselves. They multiply, they expand and they change our behavior. I don’t think anyone wants to lose track of who they are at the core, so the real question here is how do we shift it? We have to figure out how turn everything around into something useful that will actually help to inspire positive change.
I believe the first step is honesty. I believe it’s time to be real with ourselves. It’s a time to be raw, transparent, and open with thoughts and feelings. We need to look past the barriers we have built for ourselves and focus on what we truly think and pay attention to what we actually feel. Take a step back if need be. Let go. Disconnect. Get in touch with self. Those rare moments where we feel completely centered and free are where inspiration and innovation are born. I strongly feel this level of self awareness and clarity lead to effective action and right now, real action is the only way to be a part of the solution.
When all of this first began escalating, I didn't do much. I jumped onto social platforms, watched everyone bark orders at each other and and tried to share some thoughts here and there. Eventually, I got pulled down and looked for someone to blame, pointed my fingers a few times, and called out some of the stupid things I thought people were doing. Then, when the feelings really started to spiral, I went as far to turn things over to my version of a higher power and blindly believe all will be okay. These behaviors do nothing. They solve nothing, they’re useless and a complete waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with anyone holding onto their faith. I find those feelings powerful. They are uplifting and provide a sense of hope, but I feel they should be treated as the fuel needed to drive forward.
Look, I don’t know how to cure a virus. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor or a magician, so, for now, the only thing I know how to do is openly share my thoughts and ideas regarding the other problem I see out there and ask that others consider doing the same in a manner they enjoy.
There are already people out there doing exactly this and a lot more. There are some out there working day and night to save lives. There are others going to work every day in an unsafe environment to make sure we can still eat. There are neighbors buying and giving groceries to each other. There are people using their creative talents to sew masks for anyone who needs one and folks on the internet spreading love, humor and joy. There is even an author I respect reading stories aloud to people in hopes to brighten a day and an actor who played a childhood hero of mine reading Shakespeare to his fans to push a feeling of peace. All of these people are taking action. They are being authentic, they are being real and doing what they can to effect positive change in their own unique way.
I believe this is what everyone needs to do. Be open with feeling and figure out what you love to do so you can use that to be a part of the solution. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your action is, what matters is that you make a positive contribution. I strongly believe we have to stop the flow of these ugly feelings and get ourselves off of this gloom and doom filled road. Listen, it won’t be an easy ride. It’s a mixed bag of emotions out there coupled with a few extremes, but once we move past this physical illness, we don’t need the aftereffects of our lousy behaviors to push us back for years and years.
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