I am writing this to remind myself that I am lucky.
And that I need to be grateful.
I was born and lived under Martial law.
I remember when the dictator’s opponent was assassinated.
Then came the uprising, when I was 9 or 10.
Streets were either eerily quiet or chaotic.
And they closed the schools.
And there were blackouts.
Candle provided light.
We relied on information from one battery-operated transistor radio.
But I saw people do the right thing.
And they rose up.
A housewife led a country’s revolution.
And then became its first female president.
It wasn’t about glass ceilings.
She just did what she had to do.
During this pandemic, a lot of times, I just can’t.
People talk about BLM, BIPOC, racial equity
yet they can’t follow stay-at-home orders and other protocols
when their actions impact the communities
they say they are fighting for
in death rates and cases
because of limited access to healthcare, no financial resources, safety net,
no work from home option.
Complains about having to spend time *just* with the people they live with.
Or being alone.
When there is 1) Netflix,
3) Amazon Prime,
4) HBO Max,
7) all of the above.
Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, endless podcasts.
Cars to go somewhere for a change of scenery, safely.
Public spaces, like parks, that are still open.
And the world at our fingertips.
With the click of a button,
Groceries delivered to us
And new electronics. Puzzles.
YouTube for learning how to make sourdough. And ice cream.
Phones, not to call people (apparently), but to play games, check the news, e-mail, create “content”. Influence.
FaceTime. Google Hangout.
Zoom, no matter how tiring, to see smiles
and get drunk together.
And despite people getting ill and dying, we still have the option to watch professional sports on television, from the comfort of our couch, then make commentaries on Facebook and/or Twitter.
As doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nursing home workers risk their lives
to save lives.
And those receiving treatment and fighting for their lives are alone,
without anyone holding their hand.
I also miss people.
I miss my family a lot.
I miss our meals together, yelling at each other, getting tired from the aforementioned and needing to take a nap, waking up to a buffet of snacks that my dad whipped up while we were napping, playing board games. Repeat.
I miss spending time with friends. Going to bars. Traveling.
I miss hugs. And golf handshakes.
I miss being happy from being around people.
But I am a grateful.
I am grateful for the perspective from my childhood.
The knowledge that there are people who would do the right thing.
People who think beyond themselves,
who prioritize the community and mankind.
The Real Helpers
who show up not when it’s convenient,
but when they are needed.
I am grateful that when I start to lose faith
I am quickly snapped out of my cynicism.
And so I continue to have hope.
hold on and believe.
Including in people.