We're not all in the same boat
On this cold new Monday, as Ontario faces the potential for harsher lockdown regulations, including curfews in the rumour mill, it's hard not to feel the icy nip of the winter blues on your morale.
Experts agree there is a grave danger lurking in the shadows as we search for a cure regardless of your perspective on the situation at large. (Half of Canadians report worsening mental health, experts say woes just beginning) For many ambitious, creative and entrepreneurial-minded individuals, the restrictions stemming from these measures to save lives take a genuinely immeasurable toll.
In the earlier days of 2020, there was a verse that went viral. The unknown author mused on the idea that we're not all in the same boat as some might suggest, but we're all facing the same storm. (If you're aware of the author, please let us know so we can attribute it correctly.)
I heard that we are in the same boat.
But it's not that.
We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.
Your ship can be shipwrecked, and mine might not be.
Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal: a moment of reflection, or reconnection.
Easy, in flip flops, with a whiskey or tea.
For others, this is a desperate crisis.
For others, it is facing loneliness.
For some, peace, rest time, vacation.
Yet for others, Torture: How am I going to pay my bills?
Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates).
Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days.
Some were in their "home office".
Others are looking through trash to survive.
Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money.
Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks.
Others to escape.
Others criticize the government for the lines.
Some have experienced the near-death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020.
Others say the worse is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat.
We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm.
It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance.
Not just looking, more than looking, seeing.
See beyond the political party, beyond biases, beyond the nose on your face.
Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other.
Don't be a judge.
Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him.
We are on different ships looking to survive.
Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.
A beautiful sentiment. Words of wisdom we shouldn't be quick to disregard in forging our path ahead.
"Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him.
We are on different ships looking to survive.
Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility."
In times of crisis, it's easy to dawn the blinders of our interests and capabilities. Many of us have quickly entered survival-mode as we simply seek a way to outlast the virus. Still, in embracing these fight or flight tactics, we can't forget that true victory over the virus won't be won by sacrificing our neighbour & friends or brothers & sisters on the frontlines of the fight.
Just as we're on different ships, we also serve other purposes, so survival is achieved through different routes. Nonetheless, "let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility."
"A ship in habor is safe. But that’s not what ships were built for.'" John A. Shedd
For some, this season was a chance for respite, to patch holes in a soon to be sinking ship.
For others, it's time for us to risk it all and cast out nets as the storm on the horizon may linger treacherously. Still, we can sense the coming winter; without a catch, it will leave us helplessly and hopelessly watching our families scrounge and beg for food.
Our responsibility isn't to judge those who cast out. Instead, we need to have respect that we can't know what they're going through and why that was the best choice for them.
Our responsibility and motivation should be to do what we can to find ways to act with respect and maintain our freedoms with a sense of empathy, so we can help those who issue the mayday call.