Friendship, Mental health

I think all the time now about how dependent we are on each other. I’m not sure how clear that was to me before the emergence of Covid 19.

There’s the obvious thing we must rely upon each other for: keeping each other safe. We have to hope that others are taking the same precautions as us. We have to trust the people around us, in every situation. We have to rest on faith or a feeling that the majority of humanity wants their respective community to heal and look after each other, in less urgent times and also in the wider context of a pandemic.

Then we get into intangible territory. Like, you are me and I am you shit. We are all one. My actions have ripple effects on yours, and yours on mine. Your pain is not my pain and my pain is not yours – but pain is universal. We all tug at alternate strands of the same human pain at different times in our life. Nobody escapes. What do I mean? *shrugs shoulders.* I don’t know. I’m still working it out. The last rake of years have brought me to the point where I now deeply understand: I need community like I need air, food and water. I need to understand my place in the world, just like my children do. In fact, I think my understanding of my place in the world is integral to my children’s sense of belonging as well.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels this way, but this whole stinking coronavirus shebang has made me question everything.

Have I made the right choices in life? Have I contributed positively to society, to the people around me? Have my actions been purely for my own benefit, or have I had other people in mind also? I don’t mean my children. It’s pretty easy as a parent to act for the greater good of your children. Or at least, you instinctively try.

I really don’t think you can be happy (whatever the HELL that means) unless you are intrinsically engaged in making other people happy too.

In the past, I have, on occasion, stepped back from any offering of community. Honestly, I was suspicious of it. What is this thing where people do things for each other and expect nothing in return? What is this… this… interdependence?

What is it when you read or hear a story about someone who is suffering and you can feel their pain even though you do not know them or you have not met them?

It is – being human.

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