we interrupt this program

I am currently doing a 30 post-challenge. For the past eight weeks, I have posted an excerpt from my novel. I am pausing this week. I felt the need to. The entire world is experiencing a universal moment. In California, we were told to Stay at home. I went out to the store and purchased groceries for my family. I feel both blessed and also a bit guilty at the same time. Blessed because my wife and I both can work from home, we have insurance, our health, and our son. We have enough technology and wifi- connectivity to satisfy all of us. Guilty because I know so many people are struggling. I thought about health care-workers, grocery store workers, and the hundreds of thousands applying for unemployment. How do I resolve that tension?  I think it can be resolved by committing to contributing.

My wife hosted a crotchet- along this weekend via stream-yard were the women in attendance made hats for an anti-bullying program called hats, not hate. We watched Inside out as a family. I cooked dinner on Sunday. I completed my videos for my youtube challenge, had two coaching sessions, hosted online- church, and rested from doing any work.
I tried hard not to watch the news but did anyway. I listened to people who had dance parties on Facebook.

This may sound like I was doing a lot, but in fact, I was relaxing. If I sit still, I get anxious, my mind races, and races, and races, and the next thing I am doing is preparing my eulogy because I have convinced myself I will be dead in a week. You can’t think your way out of anxiety, and you can’t contribute to making the world a better place by sitting in place, continually thinking. At least I can’t. The reality for me is. I can contribute by staying at home, social distancing, washing my hands, and making things. I write. I make videos. I host an online church service for my friends. I find out how I can help others. I lead our group of teachers.  I

f I get sick, I follow will follow the protocols suggested by our elected leaders. That is enough. I have to begin to put the news down. I have to be selective with social media. So this week. I hope that everyone is safe. I wish everyone good health. I hope that you choose to make something. Anything. Fear and Panic are choices. I know that I will look at numbers and watch the news. I want to be a contributor.

I hope to be compassionate, and also considerate, realizing that I am blessed, and I can be happy about that. I also can contribute to those who are struggling during this time. In the end, we all are struggling, some physically, and some mentally. If we are struggling physically, I pray that you will get healthy, and I am sorry it stinks, and it isn’t what you or your family wanted.I wish I could wave a wand and we had enough masks, ventilators, and testing kits. Yet I just don’t understand. How in the richest and wealthiest country in the world we are struggling to find masks? A billion-dollar NFL stadium is a fifteen-minute drive from my house. The stores are filled with flat-screen televisions that seem to get bigger. A TV set, A football stadium, those things can’t protect a health care worker from being exposed. Perhaps this is a time where we as a society can pause and rethink our priorities.    If you aren’t physically sick, choose to help others, and choose not to script negative stories, spread conspiracy theories. That’s it—next week. I will be back with regularly scheduled programming.

I wanted to close with a post a friend shared with me from a Rabbi it was very supportive to me. I hope it helps you as well-

Question: This Coronavirus thing has really thrown me. I feel like I’ve lost all sense of certainty. No one knows what will happen next. How do we stay sane when we don’t know what’s lurking around the corner?

Answer: It is not that we have lost our sense of certainty. We have lost our illusion of certainty. We never had it to begin with. This could be majorly unsettling, or amazingly liberating.

This tiny virus of 125 nanometers* has sent the entire world into chaos. All of our plans are up in the air, markets are going crazy, entire countries shutting down, and we have no clue what the future holds.

But that is always the case. We never know what the future holds. We only think we do, and keep getting surprised when things don’t pan out the way we expected. Now the mask is off. We have to admit our vulnerability.

What will happen next? We don’t know. Our experts don’t know. Our leaders don’t know. Only G-d knows. And that is the point. Only G-d knows.

Close your eyes and feel the uncertainty, make peace with it, let yourself be taken by it. Embrace your cluelessness. Because in all the confusion there is one thing you know for sure. You are in G-d’s hands.

Keep calm. Panic and fear are also contagious. Take every precaution as advised by health authorities. Wash your hands well. And every time you do, remember whose hands you are in.

*A nanometre is one billionth of a meter.


One thought on “we interrupt this program

  1. Great post Steven, thanks for being one of the contagiously calm voices.

    The stories we tell ourselves are very important right now.

    As is, doing our bit. So pleased that you are in the varied ways you’re contributing.

    Stay well

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