Kindness and Empathy Urgently Needed

How are you doing in this second lockdown? I’ve been feeling vulnerable and at times tearful. However, I’m feeling stronger after exploring the reasons for this. One of my dreams for our future is to return to living in communities, where people know their neighbours, their names and those of their children. Communities where people reach out to support each other, especially when the going gets tough.

I remember in the seventies when my daughters were small, we lived like this with each other. We didn’t call it anything. That’s just how it was. We cared about each other.

We had no mobile phones, Netflix or anything like that. We invited friends round for supper, children played with each other, we knocked on a door if we ran out of eggs. I recall the neighbour who knocked on the door for a lemon to go with her gin! At times we argued and fell out with each other. It didn’t last long. It was part of life.

We live in different times. Maybe it’s because the internet arrived. Don’t get me wrong, I love how the internet connects us all, and the information we have at our fingertips. However, it does mean that our entertainment now takes place within our homes rather than with each other. Children use their phones and i-pads for their entertainment. I know several brave parents who monitor what their children are viewing. However, they tell me how tough this is when often their children’s friends are allowed to watch games on their mobiles and i-pads, when in fact these games are deemed suitable for an older age group.

This lockdown we are in has separated us from each other, which means that we are at the moment a million miles from my dreams and visions for living in ways in which people really care for each other. However, the upside of this is that we are being shown that we really do need each other. Human desperately need touch, smiles, empathy, hugs, companionship, friendship and shared laughter. Indeed babies who are not held and touched will literally fail to thrive.

So is it any wonder that a number of people are feeling fragile, fractious, irritable, weepy, short-tempered, sad, lost, afraid. Everything has changed, and in a very short time. I do believe this will come right in the end. Indeed, I feel very optimistic about where we are heading – though not yet. However, right here and right now we are in need of shedloads of empathy and kindness, so let’s reach out and give this to each other, albeit from a distance. Smile at someone you don’t know; stop and talk to a stranger. You are probably doing this instinctively anyway. The sound of a voice is comforting, so phoning rather than texting a friend will mean far more.

There are so many ways of generating kindness. And it’s already happening. I see this when I am out walking and receive the smiles of others. My spirits lift. A number of streets have formed a What’s App group in order to stay in touch. We need each other. It’s as simple as that. And we feel stronger when we connect with one another.

I for one will never forget this lockdown experience. I’m sure you won’t either. I’m staying out of the energy of fear about the future as best I can, and I am really looking after myself, by resting when I’m tired, eating nourishing food and being in nature. So it’s a day at a time. One foot forwards and then the other. Tread gently. x


8 Responses

  1. What an inspiring blog Patsy, so honest and open, enabling us all to meet with our own vulnerabilities. I love your discussions about community and am sure we all will, remembering in our childhood times, how it was just normal to call upon people in the road with any prepared plans.
    I so agree with you that in amongst this, at this extraordinary time, taking care of oneself and resting and nourishing ourselves with good food when possible is good for us all. Walking, Singing and dancing is good too, if I might add to your message!
    Warm love to you.

    1. I appreciate your comments Hilary. I miss singing and dancing! Thanks for the reminder of how important these things are, when we’ve perhaps taken so much for granted. With love.

  2. My heart goes out to you all. Our lockdown was short and it was late summer for us, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ability to live at a slower pace, and, my family were at home with me. You are so right about human contact. Online contact, whilst not physical, is a good substitute. I saw so much fun and laughter through ingenious online connections; Singing, dancing, playing games, virtual parties. Use this time to be inventive and creative, and yes, reach out to others. We have a beautiful word… manaakitanga, which kind of means an ethic of care… but in truth encapsulates so much more. Go well everyone. Kia kaha. (Which means: Be stong). Ruth

    1. Thanks so much for your comments Ruth. Yes, there’s nothing like physical contact. Perhaps we didn’t realise how much we need one another until this lockdown. Manaakitanga. I love that word. Patsyxx

  3. Thank you Patsy for your blog. it was encouraging.
    Its the first time I read it as just found it in a mail box I don’t usually check, but I will now.
    I’ve been reading a lot, talking to friends & family on the phone, walking in nature every day, and staying away from fear, as you say, in-spite of it, I do get tearful, for unknown obvious reasons…however I remain positive and hopeful.
    Best wishes, with love, Varda

    1. Hi Varda, so glad you are supporting yourself well and yes, suddenly the tears come for seemingly no reason. These are extraordinary times. Hope to see you soon. Love Patsyx

  4. Patsy, that is beautiful. And you are so right about it all. Here in Nova Scotia we have been incredibly lucky and until recently we were the safest place on earth. There has been a spike in cases, though not remotely as many as anywhere else. But it’s still a shock for us.

    I find the best antidote is a kitten! We got one a couple of weeks ago. It demands constant attention and love, and it gives it all back in spades. Pure joy. That, and being outside as much as possible, and all the other things you suggest, are getting us through.

    Keep on writing, Patsy.

    Sarah xo

    1. Thanks so much Sarah for your comment. Yes, okay I shall keep writing! So glad your kitten is bringing you so much joy. Patsy xx

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