Let’s not lose the Joy!
We are now into the Fall season in Canada. I live in the country and nature all around is starting to prepare for winter. I too am preparing, both the house and the property. Yet this year is a little different.
Yesterday I had 2 experiences that struck me:
One was when I was cleaning my windows – that’s something I do in the Fall around here. Many folks might say that’s a Spring job, but with dust and all from the spring and summer, I like clean windows for the winter months so I have as much sun coming through as possible. I was just finishing up an area when a police vehicle drove into my driveway. I waved, thinking he was turning around. But no… he was wanting to have a chat.
Someone had called in that there was a party going on “here”, and as of yesterday (September 19, 2020) in Ontario, gatherings of more than 10 indoors and 25 outdoors are again prohibited.
Here I am in cleaning clothes, with rubber gloves on, looking as you might imagine. A party? Too funny – on one level.
He was just doing his job and was very friendly.
The second was as I was listening to “Day 6”, a radio program on CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Its billed as a news and social affairs program, and they were (of course) talking COVID. Numbers are on the rise again in certain areas of Ontario. The experts on the program were saying that people ought to get all of their information about the virus from the government websites and sources, and that other sources were either not as valid, untrue or “conspiracy theories”. I find it fascinating that any opinions other than from certain sources as now labeled as from conspiracy theories.
So, we are now living in a world where folks are calling the police on each other, we are unable to freely move around as we used to, folks are hardly connecting with each other at stores, almost as if looking at a person’s eyes will cause us to contract the virus, we judge and are judged when, because of “social distancing” in stores we don’t see another and think it’s our turn, a time where media is less about facts and more about the “narrative” and where if one has an opinion that differs from that issued from government sources, they are shunned or judged.
Now if you just read this and are feeling defensive, I urge you to consider your positioning.
I didn’t say that there isn’t a virus, or make any statement related to its virulence or otherwise.
I didn’t say to not take precautions.
I didn’t say I agree or didn’t agree with what the authorities and media are telling us.
So, if you were triggered, what is that about?
As a lawyer and someone who has devoted her Life to seeking the Truth (and no, I didn’t find it in the law :), I find it very concerning that free speech and freedom have becoming less and less important in what was a “free and democratic society”. And yes, I do say “was”.
In Canada, there is greater movement towards incorporating voices from “minorities” – or voices other than the traditional “white” voice. And this is good. Yet what about divergent voices from those other than government and media sources.
All voices matter.
Having the right to speak freely and move freely are cornerstones of democracy. And, yes there are limits to both under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The conversation is important, and bringing our own awareness to the conversation is essential.
The world I described above would have been unthinkable a year ago, and has the tenor of “1984”, or other dystopian world.
Years ago, I was at an event where a beautiful bright star of a woman said, “If you don’t love something it will go away”. Our rights and freedoms are no different.
So, what do we do?
Well, here are some ideas. If they feel more expansive than what you are currently doing and thinking I invite you to try them on for a week:
- Those of us who are living in a democracy still have the right to do some research and make our own decisions. Use it.
- We have the ability each day to look people in the eye and connect when we are out and about. Do it.
- We can do our best to be kind and less judgmental of those around – to forgive some of the tensions that are arising in this weird world in which we find ourselves. Think it.
- We can enter start our day with the theme: extra grace required or requested. Try it.
- And, we can consciously look for the joy in our daily lives and be grateful for what we have. Enjoy it.
Even in a lockdown situation, we can still be in command of our thoughts, are not victims of circumstance (unless we decide to be), and can expand our awareness and our lives.
No-one has command of your mind unless you give it to them. Remember that and, whenever it feels that way, turn to what brings you joy.
To greater Joy!