"When you do the things in the present that you can see, you are shaping the future that you are yet to see. ― Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability
We aren't meant to always sit back and watch the world unfold, but sometimes it's not always our place to get directly involved. So what should you be doing? What is right?
1. You need to stay up to date.
It seems like everyday there is something new, and that is the truth! We have a new break in medicine and movements, or quite the opposite. It can get very overwhelming and a little unbearable; I understand! We need to take breaks from the news because the amount of disappointment and sadness can just be too much. But, we can't use that as an excuse to stay ignorant all of the time. We have to know what's new, otherwise we fall behind.
It may seem like everything is too much to keep up with, but try to inform yourself on the big discussions right now. Pay attention to new graphs and data surrounding topics such as the pandemic or the upcoming election. Find out what initiatives are getting started to help and protect women, children and POC so you can do your part. Lock in on new key points for how we can all overcome these social issues.
2. You don't have to live in fear, but don't pretend these events are not happening.
Sometimes it seems like we will never experience normalcy or any level of peace again. It gets exhausting to care so much. Some people are choosing to ignore what is going on. "I can't see it therefore it isn't happening" mentality, or, "I have a life to live, and I won't let these issues stop me from doing so." All of that is understandable, but it's not the right way to do things. You need to see it, it needs to effect what you're doing.
We are allowed to choose to be selfish, but at some point that will catch up to us, and only hurt us in the end.
See it, believe it, and don't panic. Continue to do your part.
3. You need to protect yourself and those around you.
There are a lot of unknowns regarding the social issues we are currently up against. In particular, this pandemic holds a lot of questions.
The mask: the most controversial, somehow political, subject to come about this virus. Questions arise as to why someone should be required to wear one when they aren't feeling sick, or how does this mask actually protect us rather than do more harm. These questions exist because of so many misunderstandings. The CDC recommends people to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the virus. The mask itself will prevent a carrier from spreading the virus by stopping the droplets from the mouth from getting onto items or people around them. A side note is, the mask won't shield those droplets from entering, but it prevents them from exiting. Also, a studied fact is that masks won't prevent the release of carbon dioxide or the intake of oxygen, thus should not effect one's breathing habits. The CDC suggest we all wear the mask, for many of us can be carriers (have the virus), yet have zero symptoms. You could have it without knowing and pass it along to a more vulnerable person.
Distance yourself or stay home: it's very hard not to see your friends or family. It's also hard to avoid public outings or restaurants. Most of us feel like dying from lack of socializing. So staying home or away from others is hard, but it's a necessity. The faster we can slow the spread of the virus, the faster we can start hugging each other again. We must learn to love from afar, spend time together with a little more distance, and choose to eat your meals from home.
4. You need to have those tough conversations and be open-minded.
Many people are raised to believe certain norms or rules. Oftentimes, people get too stuck in one mindset, and they never seem to open up to change in our society. Its hard to break your beliefs and values, but it's wrong to not see the other side of things.
You can't truly be educated if you aren't seeing the picture from every angle. You're simply just biased. But, we have the opportunity now to educate ourselves. Learn some facts from both sides of the situation. Understand what is being asked of us.
Change is very hard. It can be scary. But, it's needed for growth. So, take the time to listen to podcast or read articles from a different point of view from yours. Stay open-minded. No one is telling you that you're wrong or your feelings are not valid, but you have to give other voices that same benefit of the doubt.
Have conversations with the people around you. Understand what they are feeling and relay your own. Get deep with others.
5. You need to remember these moments and grow from the experience.
When quarantine was first implemented, many of us realized how little we appreciated the things we had. We were humbled.
It almost doesn't look like things will go back to normal any time soon. So, for the rest of this chaos, we need to just embrace and live in the moment. Enjoy your time with family. Reach out to friends over the phone and focus on talking instead of activities. Find a new show or movie to watch. Read some dang good books.
So much has been taken from us, but there are so many new things for us to do and learn, and so many new moments for us to cherish. Pay attention and soak it all in.