I’m a little bit upset.
I was in the bank this week where dad had an account tying up some of his financial matters. The employee assisting me told a customer who was waiting that as soon as she and I were finished, she’d sanitize the area and be ready for her.
The customer replied, “We’re living in a different world. I’m ready to get back to normal.”
I agreed. “Yes, it is. I am too.”
Then I asked, “Have you and your family been affected by COVID?”
“No, not at all. I think it’s all been blown out of proportion!” she answered. “Have you?”
“Yes, I have 7 family members with COVID…”
Then I added this, “ and my dad died with COVID.”
Have you ever tried to reach out and retrieve the words you just said? The lady tried. But they were already out there.
We tend to see things mainly, if not only, in terms of how they personally affect us.
COVID had not personally touched this lady so COVID must not be a big deal. “Look at me,” some have said, “I’m fine!”
I visited last night with a man whose wife is in ICU fighting COVID. She’s been there a week. Yesterday, she experienced a COVID-related heart-attack and is suffering from diminished kidney function.
This man’s view of COVID is very different than the “bank lobby woman’s” view.
The difference is experience.
Spirituality pulls us toward each other to the degree that another’s experience becomes our experience.
“Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.” Thomas Merton
“Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.” Dalai Lama
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” — Mother Teresa
“In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength.” Buddha
“The compassionate are near to God, near to me, near to paradise, and far from hell.” Prophet Muhammad
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
It is a message we need to hear and heed during COVID and beyond.