I am really good in a crisis.
Put everything to one side. Focus on the immediate need. Shift heaven and earth to make things happen. Realign my expectations to fit the need. Have stamina and grit. Determination and resolve. I am my own super-hero to my hour of need. I think we all are or can be.
And then the crisis becomes “normal”. Drags on and on. Doesn’t realise it has out-stayed its welcome. Just hangs around like a bad smell that won’t go away. Taint’s things. Means I have to behave differently. Means I have to change my ways. Means I weigh-up what I am giving up and not getting back. And there are days it seems worth it and days when it isn’t. And the then “fair barometer” starts complaining.
It’s not fair.
The cancelled holidays. The cancelled get-togethers. The restricted movements. The restricted spontaneity. The required rules. The required laws. It’s not fair becomes the new normal. Now my job and possible redundancy is not no fair either. Now my outlook is autumnal rather than summery. A winter of indoors and heightened risk. More closing-in. Less freedom. More restrictions.
And all the while the relentless perfection goggles. We are a First World Country! We are sophisticated and technologically advanced. We control events – events do not control us. That’s why we pay our taxes. That’s why we voted them in – to fix things not to make things worse.
I remember having great respect and affection for Boris. He cut through the usual tappy-lapping politicians are so good at. Made decisions. Made things happen. Got stuff done. But then the crisis became the usual “it’s not fair”. It always does. Along with the nit-picking we call social justice and human rights. The “What About Me!” that isn’t a question at all – just a very indignant statement. The “I am offended” indignation that is the fuel of social media and news organisations. That became our normal without me ever understanding why.
And then I remember kindness.
That part of me that operates like a dodgy electric light sometimes. Sparks on and off without me knowing why. Until I grasp the questions and provide my answer. That “it’s not fair” and kindness are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Never have. Never will. Kindness isn’t offended. Kindness isn’t nit-picky. Not even tappy-lappy. Kindness is. Just like love. And I get to decide whether I am or I am not. Me. Little old me. I get to decide the greatest thing in my life. Every second and every moment.
I decide whether I am kind or offended. Whether I tappy-lappy or love. Whether I have dodgy internal wiring and flashes of kindness – or not. Not Rona. Not rules. Not regulations. Not change. Not crisis or normal. That is all external noise. That is someone else trying to press my buttons. Buttons I allow “them” to press or not. Rona is – just as love is – just as kindness is – just as being offended is not – just as “it’s not fair” is not either.
All the noise in the world – all the “numbers” and “seven day trends” and “R up and down” and “testing capacity v testing delivery” and all the crap that comes with being a First World country and dead sophisticated and technologically advanced … all of THAT is smoke and mirrors. It is delusional. It is dangerous thinking.
It is entitlement.
And then I remember kindness. Every second and every moment. Totally within my control.