On Tuesday, May 19th, three veterans attended a RealitySeeker conference call: Carmencita Pinckney, Andy Labadie, and Ryan Christman.
Often times, during a situation such as the pandemic, we witness people acting in ways that disappoint us. We see acts of selfishness, such as hoarding resources during a time of shortages or refusing to wear a mask to protect society's most vulnerable. It makes us question ourselves about human nature and the extreme focus on individualism in our culture.
When we see people acting badly, how should we respond? One option, is to look for examples that we want to emulate. Carmen told the story of Tanisha Brunson-Malone, the young morgue worker in New Jersey who would spend her own money to buy yellow daffodils to put on top of the bodies of those who had passed away from the coronavirus. That’s being human. That’s part of what we do as peers as well. We ask ourselves, “How can I support somebody?”
Andy spoke of planting a garden for the community and he agreed about the importance of thinking about someone other than ourselves. Carmen said she is often alone at her house and so she focuses on trying to stay busy by working to make things better. She cleans and practices various forms of self-care. She says that’s something we can do to fight depression. We can take care of ourselves for those who depend on us.
One of the greatest things we can do to take care of ourselves is to stay connected emotionally and mentally. When we see things that disappoint us we don’t need to take it personally. We don’t need to take ownership over it. We can, however, practice empathy towards ourselves and others. We can combat our own depression through serving others. That’s being human. We can find meaning by looking for what other people need.
If we are appreciative of the things we have and have the gratefulness to pass it on, we can help things flourish and bloom. If we share our hearts and have faith we both help ourselves and help our communities to grow.
Our next conversation will be about values. We believe that the best we can do is model good behavior and values. We can model what peers value and believe. We can lead by example.
If you would like to participate in these conversations, please contact Ryan Christman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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