Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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THE SILVER LINING OF BEING CONFINED
Written By Al Jones
This has been a hard couple of weeks, folks. I find myself struggling with the reality that what is happening in our community, our province, our country, and in fact, the world, is beyond my control. The part of my mind that looks at things analytically tells me that all of these precautions we are taking are unnecessary as there are fewer cases of the COVID-19 virus in Alberta than there are of almost any other virus I can think of, including the common cold. But the other part of my brain recognizes that, if we are not vigilant in protecting ourselves, our families, and our neighbours from the potential of contracting this virus, it could potentially get out of hand, such as it did in China and parts of Europe.
I have to look for the positive in all of this or I will drive myself crazy with trying to rationalize it all. So, it is with those thoughts in mind that I choose to look for those bright spots during this crisis that offer hope, and eventually confidence, in our future.
Yes, schools are closed and although my children are now adults, I can easily put myself in the shoes of the parents today that struggle with trying to keep their children learning and the frustrations of some worried about curriculum that their children are missing out on. If I had to look for the positive in this situation, I would have to say that this is an opportunity for parents to take control of what their children learn and witness how they learn. It is also an opportunity to teach them life skills that wouldn’t have necessarily been part of the normal curriculum, such as cooking for themselves, baking, the importance of good hygiene and, when spring eventually comes, possibly gardening so that they know how to grow their own food.
I know I’m probably lying to myself when I say I will never again take for granted the freedom to enjoy large gatherings, weddings, festivals, or sporting events. I haven’t been to a hockey game yet this season, and yet I find myself craving the comradery of being part of a large crowd cheering an epic save by a goalie, or an incredible goal scored by an elite forward. I crave a large bucket of buttery popcorn while taking in a movie, despite the fact I only go to one or two movies a year. It’s funny how we don’t truly appreciate things until they are no longer available to us. However, on the positive side, I have spent more time at home with the Misses, conversing and connecting. So, from a marriage perspective, this increased isolation has made me appreciate her a lot more.
It’s been but a few short weeks since I’ve had the privilege of dining out. I don’t usually acknowledge it as a privilege, as I’ve never been prevented from doing so. For some reason, recognizing that privilege as a current potential risk, makes me want to go out for dinner; however, I must also recognize that I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing meals at home with family. We connect more often and I’m kept up-to-date on what’s going on in their lives. Those experiences wouldn’t happen as often if I was out and about for my meals.
I guess what I’m trying to say, folks, is that perhaps many of the things we can’t do now, allows us time to do the important things we should do more often. Chat with friends on the phone, spend time appreciating our significant others, and connecting deeper with family. For the past two decades, the world has become busier and busier. It is only now, when we are forced to slow down, that we can truly take the time to appreciate all the blessings we would usually take for granted.
I’m a fairly social guy. I’m used to being at numerous community events every week, talking to hundreds of people, and sharing in celebratory events. I’m finding myself a little bit lost, but I recognize that I, like all of you, have a responsibility to limit this virus’s ability to spread. As such, it may be a while until I see most of you again in a public setting. Until then, be good to each other, be good to yourselves, and take the time to count your blessings.