Guest Editorial; Choose Light in the Midst of Darkness

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By Heather Bennett

It’s difficult not to feel a little anxious or antsy these days, especially when we are unsure of what each day will bring. Orders to stay home, to wear masks, to adhere to a nightly curfew change weekly. To loosely quote John Lennon, “these are strange days indeed“.

There’s an overwhelming financial concern for most on top of an already overwhelming emotional concern for the health and safety of those we love and ourselves, and while these times seem dark, it’s important to hold on to the light. Through the stories of fear, heartbreak and loss, there are many stories of hope, love and humanity, coming together to help one another.

Restaurants are serving free lunches for children who rely on school meals. They have  altered the way they do business by using their wait staff as delivery staff, collecting tips for employees that were furloughed, and offering free meals for first responders and healthcare workers.

Businesses are trying to keep as many employees as possible, finding ways for them to work from home and stay connected. What once was deemed an impossibility, employers are finding that many people can successfully operate remotely, improving their work-life balance.

On a busy day we might stop and waive to our neighbor before we continue with our self-indulgence, focusing on our next task as hand. Neighbors are now taking the time to check in on each other, and find out how they are doing, even offering to run errands for those that can’t leave their home. Some neighborhoods have come up with a color-coding system they display in their windows, to let each other know if they are okay, or if they need help. One Attorney reported a record number of divorce proceedings being cancelled.  It seems many couples forced to spend time together quarantined, are rekindling the romance that brought them together in the first place!

Many parents are getting to spend quality time with their children due to schools closing and extracurricular activities cancelled. Instead of getting a quick bite on the go between taking kids to soccer practice and dance class, families are sitting around the dinner table together enjoying a home cooked meal.

Teachers and school districts are working hard to put lessons online and provide access and materials to children who might not have the internet or a computer. They are coordinating zoom calls and parades to stay connected to their students and let the kids know how much they are missed.

Positive messages like “We are in This Together,” “Stay Home, Be Strong,” “Stay Positive, Stay Kind,” “This too Shall Pass,” and “Thank You Healthcare Workers” are popping up on yard signs, reader boards, store fronts and drawn on sidewalks. People are taking the time to let others know they are not alone.

Heart Shaped Female Hands Around Burning Red Candle
Heart-shaped female hands around burning red candle

I have come across many stories of people coming together and helping one another in the community. This is the light we need to hold on to, and I hope people are inspired to carry that light. Every day we have a choice. We can choose positivity. We can focus on our blessings and the things for which we are grateful. We can choose to be a light for someone else. We can choose to reach out and be a beacon of hope for others.

I am just as lost somedays as the next person. We all want to have financial stability, to know our family and friends are safe, to know we are safe. But in the midst of darknes and uncertainty we can the light!  We can choose to choose to make positive changes, asking ourselves: what do we want to learn from this and what can we take with us when we get back to normal?

The post Guest Editorial; Choose Light in the Midst of Darkness appeared first on South Walton Life | 30A News, Events and Community Information.

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