A Sense of Togetherness
I saw a close friend of mine for the first time in a comparatively long time and in the myriad of topics discussed, we landed on your impact to other people and social responsibility / courtesy. Whenever we head out into the world, we are making dozens of little decisions. And often unknowingly, we do things that impact other people, their choices, their comfort, and their perspective on the day.
In situations where a society is facing a common major event or movement, there is commonality to be found in the actions of those around us. In the wake of a public health crisis, for instance, the baseline preventative guidelines becomes an inherent system of measurement for those around you.
Skepticism and misinformation are traditions in human existence. In the wake of meaningful events, people go to great lengths to keep their sense of individuality or to ensure that their perspective of the world stays intact. When that goes against widely established protocols for navigating a turbulent situation, friction is created. Breaking down the micro evaluations that could happen when debating the adherence to this policy gets to the following list:
What is the financial burden to me?
What is the physical burden to me?
What is the impact this has on my safety?
What is the impact this has on the safety of others?
"Don’t make a decision for other people, and don’t force people into having to make a decision because of you."
We know that in the wake of the events around us, wearing a mask is an impressively convenient preventative for how effective it is when done in concert by a community. It’s low cost (and can be made at home if needed), is less complex than tying your shoes, and is proven to provide meaningful protection against unwanted particulates.
The most important aspect of this when reminding myself to put on my mask is the impact I have on other people. People want to feel connected. They want to feel like they are in this together. I do not want to put people in a position of having to worry about their comfort walking by me on the street, or getting into an elevator, or if we both happen to briefly be in the same store. I don’t want them to question why they are even bothering wearing a mask because of something I did.
In that way, it's no longer up for evaluation. I look at all situations the same. There is no exception to the rule. If I am leaving my home and have the potential to be around another person or will be publicly in transit, I wear my mask. Of course I am worried about my own health and of my loved ones. But I want to be a good member of my community. I want people to know that I feel the inconvenience. The frustration. The fear. And I'm right there with them - showing my recognition and appreciation of the situation, and for those that have it far more difficult than I do in this troubling time.
Regardless of your thoughts on the severity of the situation - there is a situation. One that we have been forced into together. And to simultaneously help protect my community, myself, and the sense of togetherness we can all have in this moment is to wear a mask - I'm happy to put it on. I'm happy to put it on to show that I will not make decisions for a community based on individual opinions and ideologies. That my sense of love and concern for those around me is sitting right below my eyes.
See you tomorrow.
Inspirations: Being a community, Choosing love and happiness
Quote: Close personal friend