The Journey: As 2020 shapes our future, remember to be kind

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By Samantha Brazie, Special to The Paper

We’re all in this together, but we’re not in the same boat. Something a lot of us have thought about.

Last month I talked about remembering to be empathetic and kind, especially during the pandemic we are facing. While some of our restrictions are lessening, fear is as real and alive as it was this time last month. It is something that, I believe, we are going to be dealing with for quite some time.

For a lot of us, this has been a time of reflection. Do we really need to go to as many places as we did before? Are all of those meetings really that necessary? Wow, I’m saving a lot of money! If I have to bug out, would I really take those Frye boots with me? (Ok, that last one was me for sure)

My experience has been a roller coaster of emotions as well. My son, the one I wrote about a few months back, has officially graduated from the Marine Corps. Oorah and Semper Fi all the way!

However, there was not a public graduation and all the other traditions Parris Island has had in place for years were canceled or limited due to Coronavirus. Yes, he still gets to graduate. Yes, it is a HUGE accomplishment and he did it. But come on people, these young men and women only have one graduation. Like this year’s high school seniors, they don’t get a ‘re-do’. Their leave is also suspended as there is a travel ban for the military until June 30. Some of my closest friends don’t even seem to think this is a big deal. But that is not their Journey. They have their own challenges to deal with.

My company is considered ‘essential’ so alongside my co-workers, I have continued to go to work while most of my friends have been sheltering in place (some with a complete loss or drastic reduction in income). Like others, we have had to completely change the way we do business. Our employees are some of the most personable people in our industry and we are doing our best to hang on to that point of difference. We are giving a ‘thumbs up’ instead of a handshake, surveying customers to make sure they have not shown any COVID-19 symptoms before coming out and sending invoices to  customers to sign on their phone to limit cross-contamination. Our team is all over the place mentally and we are doing our best to come out of this intact – just like everyone else is.

I say all of that to say this: again, be kind. We do not walk in anyone’s shoes but our own and have no right or place to judge anyone else or their decisions. When people are upset, they can say hurtful things to others that cannot be taken back – I for one, will not be one of those people.  The only thing we can truly control in this world is our own actions.  I try to remind myself that I would most certainly make different choices if my situation changed enough.

At the end of the day our Journeys are very different, but one thing is for sure. 2020 will without a doubt have a huge hand in shaping the future of our generation, our children’s, and so on. It is absolutely astonishing how a few months can change the entire world’s outlook on life. One thing we will all have in common as we rise from the ashes, is that we have learned to adapt and overcome in a way we never realized necessary.

I found this quote powerful, and I hope you do too:

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” —Tuli Kupferberg

Stay safe, friends.

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