People are entitled to have their own opinions. And the opinions of others do not have to be the same as our own. In fact, the opinions that differ from our own can sometimes anger us. Downright make our blood boil. But you know what? We get to have our own opinions and that is okay.
What isn’t okay is how we respond to the opinions of others. It isn’t okay to tell someone that their opinion is wrong and your opinion is right just because they are different.
For instance, there are the typical opposing sides of parenting. To feed from the breast or the bottle. Disposable diapers or cloth. Public school or private. Or perhaps homeschool might be best, for some. Parents get to have opinions on which way of parenting works best for them.
How about the choices of our children as they grow? Dance or gymnastics. Football or band. Piano or ballet. Community college or university. State university or Ivy League. Pre-med or pre-law. Trade school or academia. Perhaps no school at all and a minimum wage job. Army or Air Force. Our children get to have their own personal opinion of what is best for them.
In light of the situation we are in the middle of dealing with, the COVID-19 Pandemic, I have noticed a few things about people. And their differences of options. And to be honest, I am appalled. Just completely and utterly disappointed in our society.
I realize that there will always be disagreement amongst people. It’s human. The way it is, for lack of a better way to describe it. But there should also always be kindness. And compassion for one another.
This week has been filled with uncertainty for all of us. This virus has come into the lives of us all whether we invited it or not. It’s a global issue that we need to deal with as a whole. It is not for the weak. Or the individual. It is for us all. A whole. We are humankind. But we sure as hell don’t act like it in times like these.
In the last two days alone, I have seen more hatred and sadness floating around my social media feeds. Name calling and insulting. Insensitivity and disrespect. Blame being displaced. As if you know more than you do. Honestly, it seems that some of y’all have forgotten your manners and let all your true colors show.
And I am tired. I have been trying to focus on facts. Without all of the negative distractions. Facts from the officials who are the experts in the science of infectious disease. The epidemiologists who have dedicated their careers to the study of germs that make us sick. Because I want to know how to take care of myself and my family from the people who know what they are talking about.
But it’s hard to focus on the facts when there are so many people inserting their opinions into things that are irrelevant. Instead of making sure you and your household members are being diligent about the things that have been recommended by the experts, time is being wasted on things that do not matter right now.
I don’t want a firefighter doing my taxes any more than I would want an accountant to come to rescue my child from a burning building. I don’t want a plumber to make alterations to my daughter’s prom dress any more than I want a seamstress to fix my leaky sink.
Trust the folks who know what they are doing, to do what they are supposed to do. Trust that the decisions that are being made regarding the many cancellations of events and schools are done with consideration of what is best for the health of us all.
And while those decisions are being made, remember that it is not up to us to decide what others get to feel. If students with cancelled proms and graduations and classes are sad, let them be sad. Don’t tell them that there are worse problems. Don’t tell them that they are being dramatic. Because to them, those are their worst problems.
For others, there are wages lost and bills that might go unpaid. Elderly loved ones could become seriously ill and burden family members with additional worries. Those already struggling with anxiety and depression are having trouble just getting through each day.
We can only control what we can control. All the constant arguing is tearing us apart instead of bringing us to help one another. Just because you are not afraid of the virus does not mean it isn’t okay for someone else to be scared. Let people have their opinions while you have yours. But please be kind and respectful.
I am not afraid of the virus. But I am afraid of the panic. The disregard for the elderly and those with compromised immunity from underlying health conditions.
I am afraid that people have allowed the media frenzy to let panic be the the driving force behind their actions. And that logic is going out the window.
This will pass just like every other hard time does. Wouldn’t it be better to see a restored faith in humanity? Rather than come away from this disgruntled against one another?
Let’s come together people. When you find some toilet paper on the store shelf, pick up a couple of packs for yourself. And maybe a pack for your neighbor. Then leave the rest for others who may need it. Because we are all in this together.