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Finding compassion and love in a time of crisis

“In every crisis exists doubt or confusion. Take the higher path — the path of compassion, courage, understanding, kindness, and love” — Amit Ray

At first, ever so slowly, like the tides, we witnessed the spread of the coronavirus from one country to the next until it eventually arrived on our nation’s doorstep. Since then, our lives have drastically changed, some for the good and others for the opposite. Our streets lie (almost) vacant and dormant, as a vast majority of businesses and schools lie shuttered, quietly waiting for this to pass. Coupled with this, rising unemployment and a huge concern over our future looms above us all the time.

In these times of great uncertainty, many have embraced the values of the above quote and illustrate by example to all of us the very best of mankind. For example, I personally witnessed a man in one of our local grocery stores purchasing food for his senior neighbors. Through our discussion, he informed me how an elderly lady was worried about being low on toilet tissue. So, the man gave her some of his own. His actions of love, kindness, and compassion made a meaningful difference in many lives.

I myself have come to the aid of my neighbors by bringing the mail and newspapers to them. But beyond that, I also take the time to say hello and talk to them — thus comforting them that they are not alone and isolated.

Here are some suggestions to others while incorporating the CDC guidelines on the coronavirus, such as social distancing, hand sanitizing, etc.

1. Communicate with friends, relatives, and neighbors — especially the elderly. This can be done through social media, via the telephone, or even communicating with someone in a nursing home through a closed window from the outside via a cell phone.

2. Be creative and come up with your own unique ideas on being kind and helpful to others, but again, always keep in mind the CDC guidelines.

3. Use time wisely. While at home, take advantage of the opportunity to teach your children life skills, such washing and ironing clothes, and preparation of meals. Dust off the old board games and enjoy. Dig out an old map and teach them how to read it (What happens if their GPS fails?). These are just a few suggestions designed to spur your imagination.

4. Support businesses. As stated, many businesses are shuttered, and some are open only for take-out or delivery. If possible, purchase gift certificates from them and support them in any other way you can.

In conclusion, don’t let fear dominate your life, and I quote C.J. Redwine who said, “Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” Take the higher road and come to the aid of others with love, compassion, kindness, and prayer. This will bring light to a darkened world. For instance, there are hundreds of thousands of stories of individuals and groups adding a new positive chapter in their Book of Life. We pray that you will follow their example. It is what He would want you to do.

Please give thanks and prayers for all our healthcare workers, public safety employees, the unemployed, businesses, truck drivers (our knights of the road), etc. Also continue to pray for all that have been afflicted or affected. God Bless America, and we will persevere.

For the latest up-to-date information, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His columns focus on education, old-fashioned family values, relationships, and other topics. To submit comments or find archived columns, go to meaningfuldifferences.net.

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