April 20, 2020
Not long ago, I went to the optometrist for an eye exam and a prescription for a new pair of eyeglasses. The Dr made his assessment and soon after, I was fitted with a new pair of glasses. The doc handed me my new spectacles and said, “You’re going to love having 20/20 vision.” I put the eyeglasses on and behold – I had perfect vision! “Step out into the mall and see what you see,” my optometrist instructed me.
So, I stepped forward into the mall and noticed how clear everything was as I walked into my future. When I looked to my side, I could see all the structures (walls, the floor, the ceiling lights, heating, water fountain & bathroom, stores and restaurants) that brought me comfort, security, safety and sustenance. When I turned and looked behind me, I saw with perfect clarity of where I had been and the path I took to get to where I was.
This year, we have been ravaged by a virus – COVID-19. Many lives have been lost and disrupted. We offer our sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones. We offer encouraging thoughts to those fighting for their lives and struggling financially. We offer thanks to the caregivers and their supports.
But in all of this grief and devastation, some surprising things have happened:
• With the rapid global spread of the virus, we have all observed just how social we humans really are.
• Many of us have actually spent abundant quality time with our loved ones.
• Many of us have felt sadness and empathy for those who have died from the virus.
• While we witness the greed of some, we celebrate the caring, compassion and sharing of so many others.
• Deaths from car accidents are the lowest they have been in decades.
• All sorts of people are demonstrating both deliberate and random acts of kindness.
• All sorts of people have engaged both deliberate and random acts of creativity - writing stories, making crafts, singing and playing music.
• People are finding creative ways to keep in touch with technology.
• Never have so many jig-saw puzzles been assembled in such a short period of time.
• We have witnessed our science and medical community working so hard and being so resilient in this everchanging environment.
• We have seen both incompetence within governments and some wonderfully competent, compassionate governments.
• Some of us have knuckled down and made hundreds of masks to give away to those in need.
• Some of us have given away thousands of dollars to those in need.
• With the locking down of entire cities, many of us have seen distant mountains, green country-sides, blue oceans and nighttime stars from their own homes for the very first time.
• Many people have finally been able to breathe without medication because the air was clean.
• Many parents have actually understood the fears, anxieties and dreams of our children.
Humans are not at all good at noticing changes that occur gradually. But with a new pair of lenses, we can now see that everything has changed – and in an instant. Perhaps COVID-19 is the lens bringing clarity back into the most important things of our lives.
Hope everyone stays safe.
– Dave Siever