School started this past week where I live. There was a lot of excitement in the air about returning in an almost-normal fashion. The biggest, visible difference that we’re still in a pandemic was the wearing of masks. And while debates rage on among adults over what’s necessary, I have been so proud of the children as they cooperate and make the best of things. They have carried on in a way that has something to teach all of us grown-ups about adapting, keeping a positive attitude, and thriving despite inconveniences.
When it comes to the conversation on masks, I understand people are bound to have different opinions and preferences. What I don’t understand is the mindset that assumes the worst in one another. The decision-makers I’ve seen haven’t asked anyone to do anything that they themselves aren’t willing to do. I have not seen hypocrisy or exploitation, nor have I seen any reason to take offense at the conclusion that masks are a worthwhile safety measure for the time being. To the contrary, when I’m asked to wear a mask I am heartened, not by a sense of agreement, but by the intention behind that request which comes from a place of concern for others.
Recently a good friend reminded me of society’s long-held expectation that our surgical teams scrub in and mask up to protect patients from any unnecessary infections. This ubiquitous practice dates back many decades. How might we feel if we were vulnerable in their care and they refused to do so?
Is it too much to ask that we extend such a courtesy to one another… as a means to error on the side of precaution so as to protect the most vulnerable in society?…as a means to help the same medical professionals, who mask up for us without resistance, keep the healthcare system from being overloaded? After all, are we not in one another’s care?
I, for one, haven’t found any good reason to not take such a simple step of support and respect.
During this unprecedented time in history, inside the limitations of being human and the frustrations of learning as we go, let us give the benefit of the doubt and offer more consideration to others. If our children can do it with such grace and empathy, surely we can too.
May you be inspired!