Generally speaking, we’ve become accustomed to doing what we want, when we want, and how we want to do it! Living in a world driven by commercial conveniences, we have become accustomed to instant gratification and developed a little attitude that says 'ain’t nobody going to stop me!'. And now, all of a sudden, we are being asked to stop! It's hard to put the breaks on that trip to Tim Horton's or Starbucks for our afternoon caffeine hit, or to go to the grocery store for that one forgotten item.
We’ve become so accustomed instantly gratifying our needs, wants and desires, and now they tell us to stay home and we’re supposed to oblige!?!
The reality is, if everyone does their part to reduce social interactions, this will be over sooner than later. We might not agree on everything, and that’s okay, but can we agree on that? We want this over with the least amount of damage. But how?
Let's go back to basics. Growing up in rural Newfoundland we didn’t go to the store once a day like I admittedly do here. We were lucky to get to the store once a week. My mother didn’t drive, so we had to hitch a ride or walk (up-hill both ways is actually a thing in Newfoundland!). I'm sure wherever you grew up, the story was similar. Remember how common it was to hear a random knock on the door, and have a neighbour ask for a couple of eggs, a cup of milk, coffee, or my personal favourite, a pinch of tobacco or filters to roll a smoke? I remember, sometimes the adults would barter with one another. 'Give me this and I’ll give you that'. No word of a lie, someone once offered us their cat! We had 2 of our own so we kindly declined and gave her the sugar.
Am I actually suggesting that you get to know your neighbours and start sharing and bartering items? Yes I am! And it's actually pretty easy because during this time of social distancing, we are closer than ever on a digital level. How many of you are in a community Facebook group? We use them to joke or comment about things happening around town, far too often we use them as outlets for a good rant, and now they can be excellent tools for helping each other during this unprecedented time.
Lately I’ve seen people posting things like 'if you know a senior who needs help PM me and I’ll drop off what they need '. That’s amazing, and thank you. What if we all find a little bit more compassion, and help each other. It's so easy! I dropped off dish soap to a friend because she was out. I left it on her porch, and I talked to her on the phone. She thanked me, I felt good and the exchange was done.
I know we can do this, we just need to commit to it. Have you ever committed to something important to you? I know you have, we all have... maybe it was to lose a few pounds, or to reach a financial goal, to start your own business, get out on a Friday night and have a good time. We've all done it before, so we have capacity to do it now. All together now, let's commit to going out once a week to get the things we need. Make a list of the things you need. Place it on your fridge. Need something in a pinch? Ask you neighbour!
We can still practice social distancing and help our neighbours. This a great time to go back to our roots, to [safely] call upon our neighbours in times of need, and help each other out! Pay it forward folks, because who knows, perhaps you’ll be the one that needs a roll of toilet paper 🧻.