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