This is one of my recent Elephant Journal Pieces. You can find other articles and read the comments here – https://elejrnl.com?p=3004170
August 2021 and the world is in various stages of a gripping pandemic.
But in the last 18 months, what have we learnt? What has the human race learnt?
In Sydney, Australia, we have been in lockdown again for the past seven weeks and I know that’s mild to what other countries have endured over this past year and a half, but a certain level of fatigue sets in.
This is not a piece about my personal beliefs about COVID-19, or whether I have or have not been vaccinated. And quite honestly, I do not need to know your thoughts on either of these topics. Why? Because truthfully, it’s none of my business.
You see, our own personal choice to vaccinate should not affect another. And like other medical decisions, they are yours to choose how you see fit.
What I want to talk about is the pandemic and human behaviour. I am saddened and quite frankly f*cking disappointed that as critical thinking human beings, we choose to treat others in such an unkind and disrespectful way. It’s true we all have opinions. We all believe we are doing what is right. We all ultimately want what’s best for ourselves and those we love.
So why do some feel it’s their place to tell others what to do? Why do some feel it’s okay to bully the absolute f*ck out of people with differing opinions on social media? (This is evident on both sides of the fence.)
Judgement. Bullying. Lecturing. Abusing. Threatening. Dismissing.
Human behaviour at its absolute f*cking worst, when we should be pulling together. Supporting one another. Respecting each other. Kindness, empathy, and compassion—where the bloody hell has it gone?
In a world with an epidemic of mental illness and suicide ever-increasing, why the hell does anyone believe they have a right to behave in this way? This pandemic is hard enough on people. Businesses going bust. People losing income, people unable to see family, people losing loved ones and a world forever changed.
Surely we do not need hatred and sanctimonious lecturing from anyone, regardless of your thoughts.
When this pandemic first started, I was hoping it would be the change the world needed. That it would change people’s attitudes. That people would become less selfish. And people would learn more tolerance, more compassion, more kindness. But I fear the opposite has happened.
Every day we are bombarded via the media, social media, and whomever else wants to talk about the pandemic. We are told to listen to the science. Listen to the medical advice. Listen to our doctors.
All great advice, yes? Well when the scientists, medical experts, and doctors all have differing opinions, then what? Our National Chief Medical Officer said in a recent press conference and I quote, “If your doctor advises against a particular vaccine—find another doctor!” Excellent advice and as confusing as f*ck!
So I come back to us, the independent, intelligent human beings that we are, who have been gifted to think for ourselves, and I have made some choices of my own, and I do not need a politician, a doctor, or anyone else to give me advice.
I choose to:
>> Respect myself and all others and their beliefs.
>> Show compassion to my fellow humans.
>> Be kind because more than anything this world needs kindness right now.
>> Be nonjudgemental. I may not agree with your choices and you may not agree with mine. But how lucky we are that we have choices.
>> Be more thoughtful in my approaches. Remove emotion and when I see hatred spewed all over social media, I will take a moment to remind myself that everyone is at different stages of their lives and different stages of their journey of growth.
I volunteer for a phone crisis line and our training is to show no judgement. To respect all those we speak to, regardless of whether their beliefs are opposite to ours. And I have taken this training into my life.
So, in this global pandemic where everyone is an expert and grown adults are bullying each other in epic numbers, know I respect you. I respect your choices. I may not understand them and/or our beliefs may differ, but I value you as a human being. I trust that you know what’s best for you and your loved ones. And if your choice ends up being wrong, please know I will show you kindness and compassion because the beauty of being a human is we are allowed to make mistakes.
Maybe we all really need to be the change we want to see!
“Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.” ~ Charles F. Glassman