Does anyone else feel like their head can’t absorb much more information at the moment, yet have a constant urge to check BBC news anyway? Like the rest of the world, we are facing new territory. People are scared. People are out of their comfort zone. I’ve never experienced anything like this is my lifetime. It’s been likened by some to wartime. But unlike any major nationwide fight in the past, this time we have technology to stay connected.
It should all be really positive. I’ve been invited to a whole host of facebook support groups. It is a beautiful thing that everybody wants to work together to help people in need. Yet, the more time I spend reading them, the more ‘down’ I feel. Aside from the minor debates breaking out from differing views, I feel swamped by hints, tips and suggestions. The latest big news is regarding schools being closed. Being a teacher, I was feeling relatively prepared and had a basic idea in my head of what my children would respond well to and what was a reasonable expectation for myself -when constantly being accompanied by a demanding baby who doesn’t like to be put down. Even so, as I worked through these lists of never ending suggestions, I began to feel totally overwhelmed. What if I missed something really important? Should I be categorising and bookmarking these ideas? Subscribing to free channels and online resources is all very well, but how should I weigh up the best option? Sometimes even the greatest of intentions can be damaging. I have therefore made the decision not to publish my remaining challenges until all this dies down a little bit and people feel less pressure to keep up.
The same is true for other social media updates. Would I be aware of the ‘Shopmageddon’ situation if I hadn’t seen the pictures of empty shelves? Probably not. Neither would I have read a range of hurtful comments aimed at people who were just trying to be supportive. It really makes us aware how different we all are and that other people’s opinions (which differ to our own) are not wrong, just from a different perspective. Everyone’s situation is different – we need to respect that. My step grandfather sums this up perfectly with his poem ‘Perspective’ so I decided to publish it here as food for thought.
The darkness is much darker when the light has just gone out,
the thought of thirst more frightening in the middle of a drought,
a sudden noise more startling in the silence of the night,
a rough sea much more threatening when land is out of sight.
But too bright lights may hurt the eyes and blindness even come,
while floods and torrents harm the land and may bring death to some,
vicious noise may numb the mind so man no more may think,
a boat that hits the shore too hard may very quickly sink.
The darkness then is softer when the stars are seen to shine,
no fears of thirst remain when rain refreshes every vine,
night noises are not noticed in the chorus of the dawn,
a seaman’s fear is ended when back to port he’s borne.
JOHN SMART (written 1999)
So just for now, I’m going to trust my instincts, not feel obliged to read every single post and attempt to return to my optimistic state.