In some conversations since this pandemic began, I have caught myself saying, “Well, we’re all in the same boat now.” But the piece below from an anonymous writer has made me stop saying this. It has reminded me of what should be obvious—that none of us experience the same experience in the same way. In a recent sermon, I looked for some “lessons” that this pandemic shutdown might teach us, namely, learning to practice the art of acceptance and the art of solitude. Another possible lesson is learning to broaden our perspective to include the perspectives of others. We could call this the gift of empathy.
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip- flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial and family crisis.
For some that live alone, they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest, and time with their mother, father, sons, and daughters. With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment, some are bringing in more money to their households than when they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales. Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus, while other families of 4 saw $0.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter, while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk, and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2–3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling, while others are spending 2–3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10–12 hour workday.
Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different
Realize that and be kind.
Yes, may we all be kind,