The Journey: Remember the human factor

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By Samantha Brazie, Special to The Paper

A few weeks ago, I was about to leave one of my favorite restaurants when a very sweet couple I have recently gotten to know told me they opened The Paper a few days before and said, “I know her!” and read this column.

They said they liked it (which I am still flattered by) and asked what I would write about next month. “Maybe the coronavirus?” to which I replied, “I sure hope not!”

And here we are.

I struggled with this, because it’s all we see right now. We are being inundated with extremely scary stuff and what’s making things worse, all kinds of speculation and false news that is feeding the fear of the unknown.

When I get pulled into some of the negativity around us, there are a few things I remind myself of to get back to center that especially hold true now:

  • Everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Healthcare workers, EMTs, firefighters (and too many other professions to list) are going to work every day and dealing with a virus that they have no control over. They are genuinely concerned for those they have committed to help and worried that they may bring something home to their loved ones.

Many people have elderly parents that can’t bulk shop at the store, are barely able to keep food in their house for a month and have had to reach out to charities for help. Some moms and dads are separated from their children – whether it is across the country or right here in this county. Some are immune-compromised and just having their spouse go to the grocery store is a stressor since they can come in contact with the virus in a multitude of ways.

Countless others in our community are completely out of work and don’t know how they will pay their bills as we start a new month. And there are those that are silently waiting this out in their own home, completely depressed because they feed off the type of social interaction that is not available right now.

  • People handle stress differently. Social media is a great example of the different personalities in the world and how they react to stressful situations. There are very angry people out there that are scared for the lives of those they love; there are those that choose to blame our country’s leadership; some are upset and think it’s okay to be disrespectful to others because of their own emotions.

Then there is sadness for what the world is going through, sentimentality with loved ones and friends near and far. Many are using humor to get through this because it’s good for the soul and helps pass the time.

Personally, what is helping me is remembering the human factor. I appreciate the fact that while we are all disconnected in a lot of ways, we are connected in others. Social media was something that did not exist twenty-five years ago. The internet was new and unreliable to most of us.

We now hold little computers in our hands every day that allow us to check on our loved ones, see them and tell them how much we miss and care about them.  I appreciate my relationships in a completely different way than before … the uniqueness in personalities and it makes my heart happy to see how the good in people always comes out. Mother Nature is making us slow down right now, and I am doing my best to take the opportunity to do so.

Let’s face it, the unknown is scary. Always has been, always will be. I believe that if we can focus on the human parts, we will come out on the other side even more understanding and genuine than we thought possible. As I said on social media the other day … just so you know, I love you. And you can take that one to the bank, friends.

See you soon.

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