There has never been a more bizarre time to be alive in my lifetime; not even close! Every day is another 24 hours of polarizing opinions on social media, the news, and virtually any other type of media that exists. A lot of times I see people being downright hateful to one another over their views on social issues, masks, and much more. I know, from experience that the negativity takes its toll on a person trying to navigate these tumultuous times, while also working hard to make the best decisions for the safety of many, including my own family. Sometimes, the information comes so fast and changes so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since the beginning of this pandemic, it’s that we need each other to get through this.
I know that we can not all rely on every single human being to get through this as safely and successfully as possible, but I know for certain that we will need the help of many people. Because a large part of my life has been spent as an educator, this article will have the spin of an educator. I do know, beyond the education realm, that there are so many people trying very hard to keep everything going in a world of unknowns, and those people also need kindness and empathy right now more than ever.
So, before you get frustrated, and even voice those frustrations to/or about an educator, health care official, business owner, etc., remember none of these people wished for a pandemic to completely turn their worlds upside down.
Ask yourself the following types of questions before you publically call out these people:
- Have I had a personal conversation with this person to get a full understanding of specifically why these changes are occurring?
- Am I joining a ‘mob’ of negative people instead of trying to help make things better?
- Have I put myself in their shoes?
- What can I do to help make these changes as easy on the children and teachers as possible?
- How can I help small business owners stay above water during these times?
- Am I going to be hateful to someone just because they have a differing opinion than mine?
- Is my opinion (that I will put out publically) rooted in research that defends said opinion?
There are many other questions one could ask themself, but these are just a few that came to mind. I have so much I could say here, but I do not want it to cause the message to get lost, and that message is simply that we cannot get through times of uncertainty and confusion successfully, without the help of others. The more that we work together, the easier all of this can be.
Social media is great in many ways, but it is also incredibly polarizing. It causes so much conflict because sometimes the written word isn’t always the best communicator. I challenge anyone reading this to get out (safely, of course), listen and talk to people to get a true gauge of how they feel; you might be surprised how much you have in common with them and at the very least you can agree that we all want what’s best for our loved ones. I’m not sure this article has said anything that I truly wanted it to, but it’s a start.
In conclusion, let’s all work together to make the world around us a better place for everyone (especially the kids) to live in.