Forrest Gump’s mama had it right when she said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” The Pinterest photo above is evidence of how things usually turn out in real life.
The way the world is spinning, there’s no certainty that we’ll live through another day. The year has been one of the most challenging we’ve ever seen. We’ve been isolated from our friends, cooped up in our homes, feel cheated and controlled. In the beginning it was an adventure of sorts as we were confined to this new way of living. We became creative with work spaces. We adapted to having the cat run across the computer and kids wanting a snack right after eating breakfast. Schools were closed, so learning had to be done virtually and teachers had to quickly adapt their skills to teaching this way.
People made funny videos, shared pictures of home improvement projects and crafty things they made. I went back to the kitchen and got creative with my cooking, showing the finished product on my Facebook page. On social media, it looked like everyone had it all together.
Then things took an ugly turn. After a couple months of the quarantine, we became impatient for it to be over. Our tempers flared, our attention spans grew shorter, our lives were no longer Pinterest perfect – but then, were they before? It seems we all like to show the best of who we are and what we think.
Our lives looked like they would never return to normal, and they probably never will. Anger festered and old wounds were opened new feelings of injustice. Talk of revolution grew. Young people, always the ones leading a charge for justice, were enraged and what began as peaceful protests, became painstakingly gruesome. Loss and destruction of property occurred to the very community the protesters spoke for. Collateral damage. Law enforcement was now the target.
Reports from our leaders and the experts on the pandemic were changed. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Wear gloves. Stay at home. The disease affects the elderly most critically. Now it can be just as bad for the young. We continue to follow the advice of those in charge, but some feel their being led like sheep to the slaughter.
Depression and anxiety hit all time highs and suicides resulted. Health care workers and those called to protect and defend are now suffering with PTSD. Travel has been limited. The economy is about to crash and yet we put our images of perfection on social media thinking they will maybe help someone through these difficult times.
New fears at the prospect of opening schools in the fall have surfaced. Entertainment venues, churches, restaurants are slowly opening up with restrictions. We see new spikes in the numbers. It’s nothing short of a real panic attack for formerly stable people.
So with all this gloom and doom what are we to do? We can complain as many are doing. We can try to change and adapt. We can follow the leadership. We can protest the unfair treatment of our fellow man. We can pretend none of this exists and return to the safety of our homes. We can get down on our knees and ask God to intercede. That last suggestion is often overlooked, because God has taken a back seat in our society today. Maybe we should get reacquainted.
We’ve survived much worse in our country. We’ve been through wars, rebuilding, blood shed and lives lost. We’ve seen the tragedy of assassination, the power of the almighty dollar, the destruction of the World Trade Center and a military base at Pearl Harbor. We’ve grown to distrust the media, our governing officials, business associates and more. We’ll continue to muddle through this world, but as Americans, I believe we will survive and come out the better for it. We need to remember that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Put that on your Pinterest site.