Maybe it’s a thankfulness hangover from Thanksgiving, but I’m feeling particularly grateful for the lessons my parents, teachers and Spiritual leaders taught me as a young sprout.
The adults in my life were, for the most part, all on the same page. They carefully and clearly taught, as well as modeled, values like “do unto others”, all rights come with responsibilities, and those responsibilities stretch way beyond myself or even my immediate family. I was taught it was a function of our shared humanity to look out for each other, to do whatever we could to keep each other safe, and to do our best to do no harm. It was a lesson of “we’re all in this together”.
As I witness the number of Covid-19 infections soar ever higher and watched as families still gathered in large numbers over the recent holiday, I wonder if what I thought was an ordinary upbringing of shared values, was instead something rare and extraordinary. At the time, I assumed everyone was receiving similar messages of how to function as a contributing member of society, but now I’m not so sure everyone got the memo.
I was taught there was an honoring of the others with whom we are sharing this earth space. Whether those teachings came through home, school or church it was clear we had a responsibility to cooperate with each other, as active participants in the advancement of humankind for the common good of all.
Behaviors such as wearing a mask, not gathering in numbers and maintaining safe distance are such simple and easy things to do and these practices could actually save lives. They might save the life of someone you love, or even your life, or mine. Now, that might not matter to you. I understand if it doesn’t. But my life matters to me – a lot. And, honestly, your life matters to me too. That’s why I wear a mask, keep a safe distance from others and follow other guidance for how to live responsibly and safely while helping others do the same.
It has never been more important that we understand although personal freedom is a right, I hope your parents, teachers and clergy also taught you, that professing your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities is a reflection of an immature stance of selfishness, ignorance and potential harm.
We are so close to crawling out of this time of isolation and unimaginable loss. We are so close! But we will only find success and true freedom if we move through the next several months with a clear mindset and intention that whatever we can do to help each other navigate this, we will do.
It’s time we demonstrated we learned those valuable lessons from our childhood and, as adults, that we have the integrity to live them.