Ready for some perspective? I recently read the following quote, which was pulled from an inspiring video created by a COVID-19 response team in Belfast:
When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty football fields, the empty GAA pitches, even the empty children’s play parks, don’t say to yourself, “It looks like the end of the world.”
What you are seeing is love in action. What you are seeing in those empty spaces is how much we do care for each other. We care for our grandparents, our parents, our brothers and sisters, for all those with underlying health problems. We care for people we will never meet. People will lose jobs over this. People will lose businesses and some will also lose their lives. This is all the more reason to just take a moment when you’re out on your walk or on your way to the shops or just watching the news to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and let it sustain you. It isn’t the end of the world — it is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness in our lifetime.
Today, for this moment, let’s “marvel at all of that love” together. Here’s how I’m doing so within my own community. My intention is to fill you up with hope and joy and the knowledge that you can access that place. Please, if you feel called, share with us your silver linings at this time.
1. A friend of mine in Pennsylvania noted that she is seeing so many families out and about together — entire families out for walks. Sometimes this even happens before 5 p.m. on a Friday. Witnessing this family togetherness is moving.
2. Another dear one in San Francisco has come out of retirement as a yoga teacher and is offering donation-based classes so she can then donate the money to local organizations in need.
3. A woman from my IG community started a fundraiser for an organization that helps to feed kids, and she raised over $16K with donations as well as T-shirt sales. Her sister-in-law designed the shirts, and her entire family helped with the process, from time to skills to donations of money.
4. Two of my family members let themselves get covered in broken eggs (see Jimmy Fallon’s egg roulette) in order to raise money for No Kid Hungry, which provides vulnerable kids with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. Those same family members also dropped off boxes of fresh produce and books and other supplies to families of colleagues who were laid off from the restaurant they work in.
5. My neighbor’s friend is sewing masks made with coffee bag twist-ties, so she collected donations of this part to mail to her friend. Those who wanted to help but can’t sew or don’t have the means to now have a way to chip in.
6. A local brewery was donating half a pizza to any kiddo in Framingham who wasn’t able to access lunch due to school closings the first few weeks.
7. Our neighbors organized an art walk where kids and families drew with chalk and hung up pictures of their artwork to provide some joy and cheer for the kiddos and something to work on. It also ended up bringing joy to the people living alone who walked around and saw all the bright artwork and smiling faces.
There are so many people out there doing and giving what they can, and these examples are only those within my friends and family and community. One of the most important parts of my job as a therapist is to hold up hope for others when they’re not in a place to do so.