My name is Christy, and I am an optimist.
Usually, this is a good thing. I keep my smile when other people are sad, help them to see the brighter side of things, and get them laughing with a silly joke or a bad pun. It’s a calling.
However, in the light of the current pandemic, even my eternal optimism is getting a bit battered. The chinks in the armor are getting wider with each bit of frightening news, and my normal means of coping with such news are less effective as they used to be.
My technique was usually to find something good, such as the following Irish method:
In prior times, I could count on SOMETHING. If I had home stress, I could count on my job. If I had job stress, I could count on my health. If I had health stress, I could count on my friends.
Everything at once seems so unfair. Even I, the eternal optimist, am feeling battered.
Oddly, I think pessimists are better equipped to handle this sort of situation. They are USED to pushing through despair and getting things done anyhow. They have the tools I currently need to sally forth and continue in the face of countless uncertainties.
At the moment, I almost envy them.
And yet, as Mr. Rogers once said:
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m looking for those who are taking this dark time and bringing a bit of candlelight to the gloom.
- The nurses and doctors on the front lines, taking care of people at risk of their own lives
- The delivery drivers pushing through the night to get supplies where they need to be
- The waitresses and cooks working at restaurants closed to all but delivery and pickup, uncertain if they will get enough pay to cover their bills
- Grocery store workers stocking the shelves
- Emergency personnel looking out for our vital services
- Scientists working around the clock to find a vaccine or cure for this threat
These are our helpers. These are the people who are vital to our lives. Coincidentally, some of these people are those that have been looked down upon as ‘unskilled labor’ and unworthy of decent pay, sick leave, and decent consideration.
It’s time to change those attitudes. Thank them. Tip them overgenerously. Give them a living wage. Appreciate them.
And look upon them as the helpers we so desperately need.