As We Learn the Community of Seclusion
There have been several times in the last two weeks that I’ve felt we’re all living in some odd Truman Show-like experiment. I’ve watched our country, our world, from the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.
When news of COVID-19 first started to bombard us, I immediately saw division. There were people who were scared of the unknown. People who thought it was a non-issue. People hoarding products like it was the end of the world.
There was fighting and arguing as people tried to figure out what was real and what was fabricated. Then reality sank in. We are living in a weird science fiction movie and we are all cast members.
Once people started to realize that this was happening and that there was little we could do to stop it, things changed. We accepted it. We retreated to our homes. We may not like it but we realize it’s necessary.
Acceptance can be a life-changing process. It allows us to move from what we once were to what we are now. It’s evolution.
I’ve been surprised by what I’ve seen. Suddenly, people became calm and supportive. Tensions didn’t heighten.
I expected social media to be a landmine of anger, division, and finger-pointing. What I see is love. I see creativity. I see that we miss each other and that our longing for emotional and personal connection is more real than we may have thought.
I took my dog for a walk today and all the neighborhood kids had taken to their yards with chalk and dressed up their driveways and the sidewalks with words of hope and positivity. “Keep Smiling,” said big pink letters with a huge yellow face next to them.
My social media feed is full of local musicians playing music in their homes or in empty, closed restaurants offering only curbside pick up. I can connect to a speaker and hear my friends’ voices singing while I work around my house. I’ve spent a good amount of money sending them tips electronically.
When I do have to leave the house, I find people are kinder. In the grocery store, people waited patiently for others to move their cart. We all thanked the massive crew working all over the store disinfecting everything just to do it again in ten minutes.
Community happens when a large group of people all experience the same thing. The human condition reminds us we’re not alone. That softens us.
I am delightfully surprised how seclusion has brought us together. It restores a little bit of lost faith in humanity and gives me hope. The next question, though, becomes how do we hold on to this longing to be together once we can be?