During crisis, be kind, help others

by Carol Shirk Knapp
| March 18, 2020 1:00 AM

I’ve noticed something about normal, how I breathe it in and out like air and don’t even notice — until it’s gone. How sometimes regular routine seems limiting — so that I want to escape it. Yet now, when normal finally makes a comeback it’ll receive a hero’s welcome.

I can’t imagine anyone these days who doesn’t long for the rhythm of normalcy. Some are more affected by the pandemic — and its protocols — than others, but everyone is feeling it.

It is my experience that worry and anxiety love a vacuum. It gives them plenty of space to spread out and take over. When there’s disruption and uncertainty in our lives they move right in.

As a result other things start showing up — things that before the crisis were under some measure of control. It’s as if a door swings open and all kinds of thoughts and emotions rush our space.

Our defenses are breached. And if there were already other troubles, adding this new stress makes them suddenly more overwhelming.

A while back I read a blog titled, “What if Everyone Is Just Doing Their Best?” It’s a good question to ask right now — when many of us are on edge, are trying to maintain an equilibrium.

It’s a time to cut others some slack, to add kindness where we can.

Back in 1776 — in the crisis with seeking American independence from Great Britain — Thomas Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense”. It opens: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The people of that day were tried, were tested — and they dug deep. They prevailed.

And though it happened long ago I find encouragement now.