Earlier this year, my husband and I were separated for six months at the beginning of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
We didn’t know anything about it; no one in our lifetime had ever had to deal with a deadly respiratory virus that spread all over the world in a matter of months.
The borders closed, and before we could get to each other, we found ourselves on different ends of our respective countries.
In those six months of separation, I was a mess. I suffered from anxiety, anger, confusion, and depression. Many families and partners are still separated from each other; many are still going through vast rays of emotions and mental health issues. My own father and stepmother live in Mexico, and I have no idea how long it will be until I am able to see them again.
Separation and restriction are horrible. Let’s remember that nobody wants this. Nobody wants to be separated from loved ones, nobody wants to be restricted with where we can and cannot go, and nobody wants to live in a virus-infested world. No matter what side you’re on—if you believe the virus is real or not, or if you feel it is our government controlling us and moving us into a one-world system—nobody is enjoying this.
If it was the government forcing the hand of its people, then they would be winning. They are winning because using the divide and conquer strategy is how most wars have started. People go against each other and fight among themselves, while the ones in power are watching from a safe distance.
But what would it be like if we were united instead? Is it possible to have opposing views and not spit out venomous anger, burning our relationships and friendships down and becoming violent against each other?
Do we have to abuse each other? We are all we have. We need each other more than ever. Right now, we need kindness.
Kindness, compassion, and love for our fellow men and women. We need this to save each other as a service for our children and our future. I know that we could do so much better. But then I’m seeing and experiencing the opposite out there: anger, hurt, pain, fighting, and violence toward one another.
There is so much suffering. Can we get out of our way and help others who are in physical, mental, or emotional pain? Can we make 2020 a little easier by showing up, showing love, and helping one another?
I believe we can. I believe humanity is full of grace and love for one another.
Here are six ways to show kindness in 2020:
>> Motivate others to practice acts of kindness.
>> Reach out to friends and family—even if you can’t see them physically. Get on a video call, call them on the phone, or write them a letter. Let someone know that you love them, value them, and see them.
>> Say encouraging words. Let others know they are cherished.
>> Offer to help someone with something. Shovel your neighbour’s driveway, bring groceries to an elderly person in your community, and help out in any way you can.
>> Hold space for others. If you show up in vulnerability, others are more inclined to do the same. Hold steady to your faith—whatever you practice and whoever or whatever you believe in.
>> Be thankful. Incorporate the words “thank you” into your daily routine. Gratitude goes a long way. We can be more open to practicing gratitude every day for what we have and not focus on what we are lacking.
We can bring a smile to someone’s face. It doesn’t have to cost anything, and it can be altering someone’s world—just be kind. Be kind in action, be kind in word, and be kind in heart.
Don’t let what’s going on in the world harden your heart. This is when we need to burn brightly and boldly. Guiding the way for others who need strength from our light.
“In the end, only kindness matters.” ~ Jewel