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It's critical to stay friendly and stay connected in these challenging times if we are to move forward as a community

FEAR

Fear is a natural response to the undesirable, unknown and unmanageable. At this time in our history, we are rightfully living in a bubble of fear. And we long for this fear to go away.

COURTESY PHOTO - Ewart F. BrownWe fear being a victim of COVID-19.

We fear to face economic uncertainties.

We fear being listed on the unemployment page.

We fear becoming overnight educators for our kids who are locked in at home.

We fear what we know and the unknown.

And fear hurts and is traumatizing. Until there is a change, where will we find something different? Wherever we find peace, comfort or hope, stay there. Hang in there. For rescue is coming. Let us build strongholds against fear.

What can we do?

Be to someone a pathway away from fear. Understand what is being said and share a word of encouragement. Be a ray of sunshine. Be positive.

HOPE

Hope is the behavior that makes it easier to awake in the morning, live through the day and go to sleep at night, knowing that, amid all that's happening, everything will be all right, and this will come to an end.

Each one is responsible for developing his/her own hope, for hope is that quality that is manufactured within oneself. But this is not always easy for many of us. Some of us take hold of hope when someone gives it to us. You see, someone who senses our downfall and despair may take time to redirect our thoughts and reflect something encouraging and nice that makes us feel better. This gives us a different perspective on life and makes us want to continue the journey toward a better life. This is hope. This is what our world wants during this climate. Even as dismal as things may seem, which is real, we do not need to dig the hole any deeper, add misery to misery. We will do better learning and growing from a bad situation. We all will be better when we add hope to misery. We all can use this hope. Please share hope.

What can we do?

Give this "hope" to one another by what we say and how we conduct ourselves. "Make lemonade out of lemons." Tell someone that our history unfolds that in every bad situation we have been in, we have come out victorious. So stick to it. We are all in this together.

ISOLATION

Isolation is a rational, reasonable response to flatten the growth of COVID-19.

Isolation is an adversary, not a friend. Isolation could eat away the very hope for humanity, that is, "human connectivity." You see, forever and ever, it has been and still true that humanity needs humanity. We are wired to be together, and this is forever to be remembered. Today, isolation is about isolating the possibility of infection, but never the isolation of human hearts from one another. As we are confronted with the need to isolate, this is only physical isolation — a temporary isolation. When we isolate 3-6 feet, remember to maintain emotional and eye contact. We are told that just a hand motion can have an effect similar to a hand touch. Let us always remember isolation will have its maximum effect when it is accompanied by love and caring, a kind connection.

What dan we do?

Connect with someone and say;

"I am thinking of you. I just wanted to be sure you are alright."

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

INTERRUPTION

Interruption is the call or contact that comes to us when our minds are tightly wrapped in fear and hurt.

At that time, interruption can be received as a distraction, especially when it comes when our minds are troubled and ready to explode. At that time, our contacts, an interruption, pull us away from ourselves and our awful thoughts and lift us to a higher level. All of humanity is driven by a power outside of ourselves. Some describe that power as God, conscience, intuition, a special sense. Whatever our source, may we always be aware, especially now, of the promptings to connect with someone. There are many times we hear someone say, "You called at the right time." "You must have known that I needed you to call." So the next time, especially during this climate, when we have the urge to connect with someone, please connect right away. We may never fully know the effects of our connections.

What can we do?

Make contact with someone and say:

"I want you to know that I am thinking of you. I am here for you."

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

ALONE

Being alone for quiet reflection is a good thing. Also, being alone, because we desired it and chose it, is a good thing. But being alone because we are forced to, is not a good thing. Not an enjoyable experience. In this current climate, we are almost forced to be alone, away from the people we work, worship, play and associate with — even those we love. This is no fun at all. Therefore we are called upon to start a war against "aloneness." We want to start an outbreak of people connections. The more alone we are, the more we need the outbreak of loving, caring kindness and people connections.

What can we do?

Take this time as our opportunity to connect. And make others aware and invite them also to connect, making this another outbreak of human connectivity and compassion. Say this: "I am always here for you." " I don't want you to be alone."

FAMILY

Family is one of the most precious gifts among our collections of gifts. Family relations are different in each family. We love differently. We process differently. We hurt differently. But there is one thing that seems to be common to all families. That one thing is: When there is reason to hurt, we come together, hurt together, and cry together. For you see, family is a warm healing pool. So in this current climate, let us come together, understand one another, walk together, and win the war together.

What can we do?

Connect with family members as often as we can. Remember them often, regardless of past misunderstandings. Ask: "How are you doing?" "Is there anything I can do for you?"

Say: "I love you." "I am praying for you." "We are in this together."

INTENTIONALITY

Many of us, many times, run on automatic. We do things without thinking of a sequence of events. These things we do as part of our daily routines, and this might be fine. However, considering the climate in which we are, there is a need to do things differently, like being intentional about reaching out and connecting with someone. Determine who we will connect with and do it, and don't wait too long. Determine who should be at the top of our list. An intentional connection may save someone's day or even someone's life or put a smile on someone's face.

What can we do?

Reach for a pen and paper, now, and begin to note what you must do or who you must contact, hoping to put a smile on a troubled face.

LISTENING

Listening is a specialty art. For some, it's a special gift. And seemingly, only a few have received this gift. What is puzzling is we have two ears, which means we are capable of listening and hearing twice as much.

On the other hand, we have only one mouth, which means we are to talk less and listen more. In this current climate, when we are processing and wrapped in fear and perplexities, we can help one another through by listening. Let us talk. Let our hearts bleed out our anxieties. Remember, hurting hearts want to bleed. They want an opening to vent. It is true that our world does better with more listeners and fewer counselors.

What can we do?

Just listen. Learn to ask questions, then wait and listen to the answers. And ask more appropriate questions and listen to the answers. Just be a good listener.

PATIENT UNDERSTANDING

We may never have walked this path before. We may never have lost our freedom nor personal rights and privileges. Now, circumstances and authorities are seemingly controlling our decisions. How and why is this happening to us? We don't like this at all. Even worse, there is uncertainty about how long this will go on. This might be awful for some of us. What is true is we are all affected by COVID-19. What is also true is it affects us differently, and we respond differently. I know some of us are calm. Some are anxious. Some are responsible. Some are unsure. Some are out of control. Some conceal our emotions. Some let our anxieties run wild. Please let us do our very best to be Patient and Understanding. Hurting someone or being rude and reckless might not have been our usual way of life. It's just that this current climate is getting to us. Please let us remember, as we connect and relate to one another, we may never really know what the other person is dealing with, and to what degree and we really don't need to know for maybe there is nothing we can do about it. But this we can do and be; be patient and understanding with one another. Please remember, we are all in this together, and we need one another as we journey to victory.

What can we do?

Be patient. Be understanding. Be calm. Be kind. Be respectful. Be thoughtful with word choices. Be intentional about doing good. Be a smile factory and give it away. Putting all these together equal this: Whatever we give away will come back to us.

CONNECTIVITY AND COMMUNITY

The future of our world hinges on Human connectivity and community.

That is about how we connect with those around us. Community in this context refers to those we encounter at the grocery store, Post Office, bank, gas station, places of business, and those on our street. Some of these people we may meet only once and never again. But whether a one-time meeting or several meetings, we are all sharing the same experience and emotion about COVID-19: broken emotions, fears, anxieties and cautions. We do realize that COVID-19 is no respecter of places nor persons. This makes us all one in the journey of fear and anxiety and the battle towards victory. This makes each one responsible to one another. Your defeat is mine. Your victory is mine. We are all in it together. We are a community.

What can we do?

Acknowledge every person we encounter where and when it is possible.

If we have a smile, give it away.

If we have a hello, offer it.

If we have a movable head, nod a greeting.

If we have a kind word, share it.

TALK TO ONE ANOTHER.

TALK TO ONE ANOTHER.

TALK TO ONE ANOTHER.

Remember Our 3-6 Feet Social Space.


Ewart Brown is a motivational speaker from Woodburn.


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