I haven’t posted for awhile. To be honest, I have been at a loss at how to put into words just how frustrated, saddened and frightened I am with all that is going on in the world without sounding trite. It’s not like my words or opinion mean anything in the grand scheme of things…but I also don’t want to spout off and come across as someone who thinks they do!
However….I have to say that I find myself struggling with terrible bouts of anxiety, fear and quite frankly anger, at what I see, hear, read and experience now. When COVID-19 struck, my world, like so many others, became much more difficult and honestly even scarier. As a cancer victim, my immune system has been compromised and all the “underlying” health issues make me more vulnerable if I were to contract the virus. I have been VERY careful. Maybe I’ve even been a bit anal about it, but given my history since being diagnosed with cancer, I feel like I have to be. So I have been doing my best to stay positive during this time and to use my isolation as an opportunity to to do some planning and organizing and thinking about the future. I felt I was coping well…at least on most days, but now I am NOT. What the hell is happening out there!?!?!?! The hate and violence that has reared its ugly head yet again, breaks my heart. The ignorance and intolerance that I and the rest of the world is witnessing is mind boggling to me.
I am fortunate to have traveled and lived all over the world. As a child, my family moved a lot! And when I say “a lot” I mean A LOT!!!!! It was hard always being the new kid. Always starting from scratch; trying to fit in; trying to make friends; trying and not always successfully to integrate myself into another city, another social scene, another new school another life. There were many times that I never “fit in”, or was accepted; so I did my best to get through each day keeping my head down and trying not to let the teasing, bullying and name calling upset me too much. Of course it did, but its something I learned to live with, even if I didn’t understand why. That said, having traveled so many places from a very young age, I was oblivious to people’s “differences”. I saw people as people. I didn’t categorize or even recognize people’s religion, colour or language as making them different from me. Those things didn’t register with me as anything other than that was part of them but not what defined them. What I saw that made people different was their behaviour. I saw people as being nice, kind, generous, inclusive or NOT. That was the “difference!” Maybe that is a naive but that is how I grew up and have remained to this day. I have no time or tolerance for anyone who acts otherwise.
Having dealt with cancer and the fear and anxiety that comes with it, I know first hand how hard it is to deal with the unknown…the isolation…the loss of control and the struggle to feel part of a world that no longer looks or feels the same as it did. I know that fear can bring out the worst in people. It takes its toll and can cause one to lash out and say things that you may never have said before. But what is going on now…the words and actions of some people are simply inexcusable. For people to put themselves above others because they feel that their skin colour, birth place, religion or socio-economic standing is different and somehow “better” is not only ignorant, its completely absurd and very frightening.
We are dealing with two pandemics. COVID-19 and Hatred 2020, both of which are spreading quickly and are devastating the world we live in. One seems to feed on the other and together they are growing in strength. Both must be put to a stop…please. COVID can be slowed by wearing a mask… and that is good. But those who are fueling Hatred 2020 need to stop hiding behind their “masks” of ignorance and open themselves up to acceptance, understanding and love.
We are now halfway through 2020 and so far, I don’t have a lot of good to say about it. We still have a chance to turn things around. I realize its going to take more than six months to “fix” what we are battling. Let’s face it, the world has been battling “hatred” forever….but if we don’t try…if we don’t make it a priority and if we don’t commit to changing how we think, how we act, how we communicate and how we live…then we can’t expect things to be any different than they are right now. Just like cancer, the spread of these two pandemics must be stopped as they are truly deadly to us all.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.