“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens simple quote has been the definition of every human tragedy and hope for centuries. His sentiment seemed almost a distant eulogy of sorts and unfamiliar to many of us living in the modern age. I never imagined living during a time that his quote would ring true for me. Yet here I am and here we are.
It is times such as these that we see the fragility of our humanness. We are reminded that we are not bigger than our bodies or smarter than the cells that make us who we are. We are delicate in our human design and we are frangible when we are reminded of that. It is times like this that make us realize we are mortal.
It is also times like this that make us realize that beyond our brittle shell, we are so much more, and we are truly remarkable beings, and we are unbreakable in spirit. No doubt, our bodies are important, they give us definition, they provide us physical life and we recognize each other by our design. However, if you look beyond the exterior, you will see into the heart of what makes us “human”. It is not just our fragile exterior. We are so much more than that.
We are souls with deep feelings, endless compassion and infinite worry for others. We are loving, dutiful, giving, kind and we are family. I am not just talking about those that we are biologically connected to but being human, we are family. Our skin color, our ethnicity, our belief systems and our differences NO LONGER matter when faced with an unknown foe that threatens ALL of us; grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads, aunt, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends and OUR children.
This is what makes us human. Our fragility and our strength, together as one across states, nations, countries and the world make us h u m a n. Make us f a m i l y.
It is difficult now in these uncertain times to find things to be happy for, or encouraged by, but I argue that it is in these times that the very best part of our humanness far outshines the darkness that seems to be ever gathering around us.
A few examples of this:
- Disneyland is closed and instead of letting their excess food go to waste or go unused, they are donating it to those in need.
- Rebecca Mehra on an errand to the grocery store for herself, came across an elderly couple that were too scared to go in and risk getting COVID. Rebecca went shopping for them, delivered it to their trunk and was met with tearful thanks from the couple.
- The Nextdoor app is finding that they are being overwhelmed with people willing to help get groceries, medications or basic necessities for high-risk individuals that shouldn’t leave their home.
- Strangers at grocery stores giving up duplicate items for fellow shoppers that are finding empty shelves.
- Healthcare workers sitting with COVID-19 patients who are too ill for family and friends to be with them.
- Schools across the country are still making breakfast and lunch kits that people can drive up and get for those kids that depended on this for food.
- Neighbors helping high-risk neighbors with grocery shopping, dog walking and transportation to necessary appointments that cannot wait.
There are SO many more examples of kindness. All random. All necessary. All human.
“…..it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope….”