How has your life changed in the last few months? I asked this question one day on Facebook and received a myriad of answers. This one post generated more interaction than any other status post I’ve shared (other than pictures or videos). While the specifics varied, the answers held a common theme.
Early on, in the first round of “lockdown,” I talked about ways we could use this time for self-development and learning new things. While these were included in the answers from others, the greatest common thread centered on craving connection. Our relationships have been tested. Our social outlets have changed. Grandparents and grandchildren are missing visiting in person. Major life events like graduations, weddings, welcoming a new baby, birthdays, and even saying last good-byes at funerals have been skipped, abbreviated, or made virtual.
How do we learn from this? What lessons do we take as we move forward? I pray we learn to appreciate and stand up for our freedoms. I pray we respect each other, even if we disagree about what is best. We all choose what is best for our family and situation. Not everyone feels as I do. Not everyone will make the same choices. Whether in worship, schooling, wearing a mask, or meeting with friends, we all have the freedom to choose.
We could spend – waste – time arguing about wearing masks or not, social distancing or not, closing down our businesses, places of worship, and schools or not; OR we could invest time in our relationships. Listen to each other. Accept that whether or not we agree, we are part of the same community. Focus on what we share in common and build the connection we crave.