There are some things we can do. We can choose to be kind to those doing a very new (and unwanted) job of “enforcing the rules” (which change by the day/hour). We can choose to “look after our own” and empty the shelves. We can choose to be in this together and allow all of us enough. We can choose to want an instant answer to everything right now. We can choose to live day-by-day as we do most of the time. We can choose to be changed in ways that are abhorrent in others (but needed in ourselves) – or we can choose to change to be who we are (just in a slightly different and temporary environment).
I’ve left jobs without another lined up. I’ve been made redundant unexpectedly. I’ve feared for our children’s lives. I’ve been accused of shit I never did. I’ve been scared and been ecstatic, I’ve been bored and fascinated, I’ve sailed through the best of times and trudged through the worst. And right now I have the same choice I had in all of those choices.
I think we like to forget that is true of every moment in every day. I think we prefer to choose to say we have no choice. That we are simply looking after our own. That in a dog-eat-dog scenario we simply act as we have to. Or – we choose to become victims.
A long time ago I made a choice never to choose to be a victim. And that victim “whisper” slides in quietly and invisibly. Forget “sin”. Choosing to be a victim is the reality we all face every day. The “I had no choice” choice. Like “sin” and “we are all sinners” (i.e. victims together).
When I see panic-buying (or prepping, stock-piling, getting-a-few-extras) I see those who are scared no one will help if they are in need. When I see the instant “but what about … “ following every (daily) government initiative I see fear. Those who are scared they have lost control.
A long time ago I made a choice never to choose to be a victim. It’s a choice I make every moment of every day for one simple reason …
I have found that choosing NOT to be a victim allows me to live in the moment. A place of calmness and peace we all yearn for. A place devoid of panic and fear. A place where I am free to be the me I yearn to be. The place where I am.
Young Jesus talked of a rich-man living and a rich-man dead. I was taught it was about money-possessions-stuff. And with that “money-and-possessions” became “sin” and sinful. Which I don’t think young Jesus ever intended. I think he intended me to choose.
To choose what is important to me. What is important to who I am really.
Today I look around and I see so much riches. The riches of fear. Fear that multiples just as love multiples, but fear that imprisons and inhibits whereas love liberates and empowers. I think young Jesus is all for riches – just the riches of love which grow me rather than riches of fear which stunt me. Right now today that is no more true than then – but no less true than then.
A long time ago I made a choice never to choose to be a victim. It’s what keeps the shelves stocked, our larders plentiful, our lives peaceful, and our community safe.
One final thing …
We should have been in Canada on Wednesday. A bucket-list-trip savoured with anticipation for a whole year. Then Canada shut its doors to us 72 hours before we were due to fly … the UK advised against all but necessary travel 24 hours later. The wait-times for airline and insurance help-lines was horrendous.
But what I found amazing was the attitude of every helpdesk human being (but one). Calm, empathetic, helpful, informative, gentle, human of the kind you want when seeking help. These are people who – in the airlines at least – are facing redundancy in the very near future – who can choose to be as much victims as any of us. And yet …
Kindness has never been more needed. Gentleness with ourselves and others never more health-bringing. And whether you find that in the bible or not – now is not the time to be bashing each other over the heads with dogma and division.
I found that in life and the bible.
(I think they are the same thing)