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A Good Time for Kindness

Posted By: Randy GageJuly 31, 2020

The plan was to follow up the last post, with a deeper dive into your thought process and how you can engineer it to produce better outcomes in your life.  Maybe I’m allowing myself too much exposure to the news and current situation, but I felt today it might be better to take a detour and instead, talk about being kind.

I’m in Miami which at the moment, is the coronavirus hot spot of the world.  And today they’re closing down the testing facilities to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Isaias making landfall here over the weekend.  (A similar situation in the Bahamas right now.)  If it does come ashore as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane, the options aren’t pretty.  You either have a bunch of people afraid to leave and they face danger from the storm, or you have thousands of people huddled in shelters with bad ventilation. That could elevate the pandemic into a Bubonic plague scenario for the area.

But it’s not really “the storm” I’m concerned about.  Best case is, it just wanders off the coast. Next best is it goes north, weakens in the cooler water, and makes landfall in an area with a low coronavirus case count.  What has me concerned is the amount of people both here and around the world, who are extremely vulnerable to any catastrophe right now.

My mom raised three kids by herself, knocking on doors selling AVON.  What if that were today, and she lived in Miami?  She would be unable to work, have no family support, no savings, no insurance, and trying to decide if she should face the storm or risk outrunning it in a pandemic.  The $600 unemployment benefit and eviction moratorium are now ended while the two political parties are bickering in Washington.  Here’s the reality: there are millions of disadvantaged people who are actually facing those kinds of choices right now.

There are people who don’t worry about the DOW index because they take their paycheck to check cashing stores.  That was when they had a paycheck, but now millions of them are out of work.  There are undocumented people here who couldn’t leave even if they wanted to, because no one wants travelers from the U.S. right now.  What about the homeless – many mentally ill – on the streets of Miami, and the Bahamas?  (And those in Hawaii who just faced this.)   The barrios in Brazil and the slums in India are rampant with coronavirus cases and governments without the means to protect them.  People are in ICUs on respirators dying alone, because their loved ones can’t be with them. Trans kids, spurned by their family, facing their demons by themselves.  Elderly and immunocompromised people who have been sheltering at home for four or five months now.

Toss one more calamity on top and many of those people pass the breaking point.

Like I said in this post, the system is broken. The gulf between the wealthy and the poor is too great.  Enlightened societies should provide a safety for the less fortunate.  The one we have now is more like a wormhole.  And there are systemic and inherent obstacles built into the process that stacks things against the disadvantaged.  Take all that, and factor in the pandemic, recession, civil unrest and other stuff, and I hope you recognize…

This is a really good time for kindness. 

Not just a good time to be kind, but also generous, empathetic, loving, thoughtful, and forgiving.  This is a really good time to set aside political differences and look for the similarities.  A good time to check in on your neighbor, take a 7-day ceasefire on social media political screeds, send someone a text or a note, support a shelter, and drop some groceries off to a neighbor or food bank.

I promise there will be adequate time in the future to be petty, vindictive, hateful, vengeful, and judgmental if you really want to be.  But for right now…

This is a really good time for kindness.   


- RG

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