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Let’s be careful out there

I know I sound like I’m jockeying for the Captain Obvious 2021 award, but things are kind of odd these days.  We’ve been playing tag with a virus for about a year, and I think the effects on the border of the bug itself are just beginning to make themselves known.

This whole situation has had an impact not just on bodies and physical health, but it has also had an impact on our minds, our spirits, and our souls.

One of the most important things we humans do is to make close, personal connections with those around us. Family and friends, yes, but also with people we encounter day-to-day.  We shake hands, we clap each other on the back, we stand close and make small talk.  Not any more. Now all we do is bump fists.  I’m not quite sure what sort of greeting that is, but I can promise you one thing—it ain’t warm.

I think that a lot of people are suffering silently. And some of them don’t even realize it yet.

Besides writing for y’all, I also write for a magazine.  We did a full issue on wellness a while back, and some of the lessons we learned were pretty good.

Dr. Rachel Fry is a clinical psychologist in Birmingham. She has as good a grasp on wellness (especially in the workplace) as anyone I’ve ever come across.  She began an article with a client emailing her to say that “I’m not okay.”   She had to work hard to get that person back to “okay”. 

The pressures of life, all added to by what we are calling a pandemic, make life tough—and costly.

We’ve lost people.  But maybe its just as tragic that we have people that we are losing in another way.  When this thing started, a lot of us already had issues.

And a lot of us have been pushed just a little bit closer to the edge by the relentless nature of things.

A lot of people work from home.  If you’ve spent your work life around people, to be suddenly cut off from those people is tough.  A lot of people are not cut out to be that cut off from others.

We have to be careful how we respond to others.  I was talking with a friend of mine the other day, and he told me that he was afraid that something small was going to happen and he’d just blow up.  He said he felt like an old-fashioned pressure cooker that someone took the lid off without bleeding the steam off first.  Not good.

I think we all have to be more patient with each other. I think we all have to treat everyone we meet as though they were going through tough times. Most of them are.

And an awful lot of them aren’t faring nearly as well as they let on.

I think we have to check in on each other.  I bet you have someone that you can check on.  You might be surprised at how uplifting a telephone call to just check-in can be. 

Especially to an older person, or someone who lives alone.

The Great Psychologist gives us the perfect formula: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32.

And what about you?  Are you taking care of yourself?  Are you making sure that you are okay?  If you aren’t, maybe you should take a few minutes and check-in with yourself.

I used to watch a television show called “Hill Street Blues.”  It was a cop show, and at the beginning of almost every episode the cops gathered at a morning roll call to be briefed on what to expect that day. The roll call always ended the same way, with the sergeant dismissing them with a “That’s it, let’s roll.” 

Then, as they began to walk out, he’d shout “Hey. Hey!”, put up his finger, stop them one more time. Then he’d drop his voice and end with a wonderful paternal admonition, “Let’s be careful out there.”.

This is 2021.  So many people seem so lost. Let’s care for each other. Let’s be patient with each other. And let’s not forget to take care of ourselves. 

Let’s be careful out there.