These are interesting times to say the least. When things get tough and there is uncertainty in the air, we have a tendency to get caught up in the drama of the situation and the potential doom and gloom so present in the media. As people who are primary care givers for children, this could lead to a very negative environment that focuses primarily on fear and negativity. Not a place I want my kids immersed in, that’s for darn sure. Now don’t get me wrong, serious times call for serious measures but the way that we transmit the message in these isolating times is pivotal in navigating the waters of uncertainty.
So, what message might be a better one for our kids? I need to quote three of my favorite thought provoking leaders.
First, Mr. Rogers! Fred Rodgers, the great calming presence from the show Mr Rodger’s Neighborhood once stated “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” When we get a chance to touch base with the children in our care, the people we work with or our own children at home, it is a fantastic time for us to acknowledge all the great work being done by the helping professionals and look at how blessed we are in Canada to have such a wonderfully competent, funded health care program. I couldn’t imagine a better place to be right now, even with the lousy weather!
Secondly, Pope Francis! I read a wonderful quote from Pope Francis dealing with the situation in Italy:
Tonight before falling asleep
think about when we will return to the street.When we hug again,
When all the shopping together will seem like a party.
Let’s think about when the coffees will return to the bar,
The small talk, the photos close to each other
We think about when it will be all a memory but normality
Will seem an unexpected and beautiful gift.
We will love everything that has so far seemed futile to us.
Every second will be precious.
Swims at the sea, the sun until late, sunsets, toasts,
We will go back to laughing together.
Strength and Courage
Perhaps this difficulty of self isolation and potential sickness will allow us to see how fortunate a life we actually have when things normalize. I know I miss the laughter of children in the schools. It’s what makes me smile when I walk those sacred hallways!
Lastly, and certainly not least, is Jean Dempsey – my mother. My mother was a wonderful inspiration to me and the kindest person I have ever met. I am truly blessed to have known her and had her as such an integral part of my life. When my mother was in palliative care, she was asked by the nurse to write something to show whether she still had her wits about her – her cancer had somehow impacted her ability to speak. She wrote “It’s a beautiful day” . She died hours later. Here was a woman, in the worst possible condition I can imagine and she could find the beauty in the day. I try to remember that in my daily life – especially during trying times.
These are hard times but, knowing we are all in this together gives me great hope and a positivity about what the future holds. Love is ever present – we just have to see it in those around us – even if it is 6 feet awwy.
Stay healthy! We need you!