There is such an evident divide in mentality right now I’m seeing during a crisis.
First, there are the complainers.
The ones who sit in glass houses and behind keyboards who live to complain about others. No matter what others do, they twist it to make it not good enough. One would think during a worldwide pandemic that maybe they would be a little bit more aware of what’s happening, but it seems to flame the fire. I guess everyone is stressed, and it brings out either the best or worst in everyone.
People are complaining about places being closed. Pictures and interviews on tv from Florida show millennials still partying. Complaining they deserve this time to party and drink. Who is to blame? Them, or their parents who raised them and allowed them to go?
People are complaining about having to homeschool. Either the schools are sending too much or too little. I’m in many teacher groups that have now sprung up from all over the country with educators trying to figure out new learning platforms, worried about their students, all while dealing with their own issues the pandemic has brought. Some have spouses who are ill, or lost their jobs this week. Some have parents in nursing homes and can’t see them. Some have children of their own they now have to teach while trying to figure out how they will teach other people’s children at the same time, all without the materials they need because they are in the classroom. Some states are not giving clear direction, or have gotten plans from districts and then said the district couldn’t do it and to try again.
People are attacking others while local hospitals are sending out SOS signals for masks. Read that again. There are doctors and nurses who know they will be exposed and will not have enough masks. They will be working extra shifts and away from their families.
How people can sit in their glass houses and complain with their keyboards is beyond me.
But then there are the helpers.
There are local businesses and restaurants that people are now going out and trying to help them survive.
People are checking on their neighbors and shopping for them if they need.
Schools are still giving out food to families who need it more than ever. I called all of my families yesterday to check on them. I speak enough Spanish to get by, and asked if everyone had enough food. If everyone was ok. I reassured parents that teaching is hard, I went to school for five years and had to get a masters degree to do it. Right now, everyone’s mental and emotional health is as important as schooling. If parents ran out of work, reading is always a go to. So is writing about your day in a journal, no matter your age. Getting outside for exercise, listening to different types of music. I also got to speak to my students. One mom said it was like Santa called. Made my day.
No one could have prepared for this. Every district is different. Right next door the district gave out chrome books and has a rigid schedule in place for learning. But they are also a smaller district, and don’t have the poverty or language issues we have. The gap between the haves and have nots will widen.
Kids are getting emotionally crushed. Sports seasons cancelled. Yesterday NYSSMA was cancelled. Kids who have been practicing so hard on their music now don’t get to compete. We also heard les miserables might eventually be cancelled. Heartbreaking if it is. The AP college boards just said they are changing the tests to a 45 minute test at home, and will offer two dates. They are changing the material covered and are giving three video review classes. Being a parent of a child who is taking three exams this year, I see the stress.
But this is when we as parents teach resilience during hard times. Understanding of the big picture. Self motivation.
If schools aren’t assigning enough work in your opinion, become a parent. Instead of complaining, look at their notebooks, see what they were learning, and have them read more on the topic. There are plenty of free site now that offer worksheets. If you are one of the lucky ones who had a computer and a printer, use it. Many families in poorer districts don’t have printers or computers. Realize the world isn’t as privileged as you, and be grateful you can give your children more. Empathy. We can teach our children empathy.
We took the kids for a walk on the beach after the NYSSMA news and AP news. I explained to Maddie it’s all how you look at it. We can sit and complain and point fingers, or we can be grateful. There are families who are stuck in high rise buildings without a beach to escape to. Children whose parents just lost their job and now will worry about food. Then we look at our blessed life and can be grateful we have a house, food, and the means to continue to educate ourselves. We can look at the miracle of all the water and sand and beauty as we walked together. That despite everything, we still had each other.
That could be the most important lesson she will learn during this time. It’s not the things you have, it’s the people you love.
We talked about the helpers. The North Fork Doughnut Company and The Cooperidge Inn are sending food to the hospital workers. My husbands cousin contacted me and got me in earlier for my lab draw when she knew they were empty in the lab so I had less exposure. My friends in Facebook and at the lab suggested a home nurse visit for future labs and port flushes to keep me safe.
The people who rushed my herbs to me so I could start them yesterday.
And yes, they are as horrible tasting as they look, and I have to hold my breath and chug them down while praying they heal my liver. At the lab, I was told to remember that the liver is the only organ than can regrow and heal. I had forgotten that and was focused on how the liver would kill me. Now I have a new way of thinking.
Walking on the beach was good for the soul. We ran into people we know, and although everyone stayed at least six feet away, it was nice. Connection. When we go for our morning walk on the road, if we pass others, there is a kind smile and wave.
How we act now will change the outcome.
Some will emerge bitter and angrier, meaner.
Some will emerge kinder, more grateful, and have more empathy.
We can’t change what is happening, but we can change how we react.
Use the glass house and see your reflection. Use your keyboard to offer help instead of criticizing.
Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know and all they have.
If you say that about everyone, you realize everyone is human.
In Jesus’s name, amen.