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CONNECTION, COMPASSION AND COVID – 19

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In the darkness just before dawn, a farmer rows upstream on a river, carrying fruits and vegetables to sell at a nearby village. He sees a boat coming toward him and attempts to avoid it. Yet the boat keeps coming. It rams into his boat. The farmer screams out, "What's wrong with you?" But there's no one in the other boat. It simply floated on the current.

Even if someone had been in the boat, it wouldn't have mattered. Even with a captain, the boat would have moved on its and the captain’s current. Whatever cause had been made had been made.

The point is not to excuse wrongdoing (and you should certainly dodge the other boat if you're able). Rather, it's to avoid adding suffering to pain. Pain comes from the injury, the collision. Suffering comes from being locked in negative thoughts thereafter.

Whatever mistakes were made by countries' governments, cruise ship owners or the people who made light of COVID-19 only to catch it themselves, they're made. Let's move on. There's plenty of pain to go around. Let's not add suffering to it.

In addition to health costs as a result of the Novel Coronavirus, pandemics have social costs, as well. "If history is any judge, pandemics generally drive people apart. These are crises in which social distancing is a virtue. Dread overwhelms the normal bonds of human affection. Here is a simple measure to take to fight the moral disease that accompanies the physical one, Connect with Others

We have one advantage our ancestors lacked during plagues in the past: social media! We can communicate without being near one another.

Rather than use social media as a tool to complain, lament, blame or splash the latest screaming headlines, let's use these tools to connect. Take advantage of the downtime. Get to know people on a level you wouldn't have otherwise.

Let's turn COVID-19 into an opportunity to connect, show compassion and learn from each other.

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