Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Remember seeing one of your friends out and about, recognizing them and rushing over to give them a big hug without worrying if they would be OK with it, or asking permission first? Ah, those were the days. Back then you could go to a restaurant and hang out right next to other people you didn’t even know, maybe even start talking to them and develop a friendship. Bands used to play shows – inside! Wow! Remember that? We could pack ourselves in, get right up to the stage and just have a blast. Yep, those were the days. Those were the days a mere six months ago. And now, as much as I have made changes for the better in my life due to the pandemic – things are way different regarding human interaction and will be for the foreseeable future. And I think it’s exacting a toll on our psyches. How could it not? We have a natural inclination to go places, do things, and interact with each other. The ability to do anything with others is hamstrung at best right now. Bands, bars & restaurants are feeling it big time due to the nature of their business. But the longer we isolate ourselves the more the lack of normal human contact will weigh on us as human beings. Even just the act of wearing masks when we go to public places changes our interactions and makes them less personable. I’m not here to debate mask versus non-mask, I’m talking more about what the pandemic response is doing to us as humans. Inside, in our hearts – we can’t help but be affected by this. And as I watch some of my friends get into heated political and social debates on who to vote for, whether to wear a mask, how bad the virus really is, if a vaccine will make any difference, whether or not we should allow voting by mail, and/or everything else under the sun, I keep seeing us get further and further apart as human beings. I’m an only child, I love being alone, between my sister and I I’m not sure I know two people who are more self-contained units than we are, but – I long for the day I can just see someone at Fleet Farm and give them a big hug again without worrying about having to ask if it’s OK first. That will be a good day. In the meantime, I’m going to do what I can to stay in contact with people in responsible ways and to try my best to bring light into the lives of the people I interact with as much as possible. We need that now more than ever. To be aware of what the lack of normal interaction is doing to us, the frustrations, anxiety and despair that can result, and how just being decent to one another can make a huge difference in the life of someone else today and always. What if we all just thought of one person who’s life we could brighten with a phone call, a message, a letter, or a visit and then we actually did it? What if every one of us made it a point to brighten just one other person’s life every day in any way, however small? Wouldn’t that be more rewarding than arguing for thirty minutes about politics? I truly hope it would. Virtual hugs stink by comparison to seeing the smile on someone’s face and holding them in your arms, but every little bit helps. Who’s life will you brighten today? We need to be in touch with love again, and find ways to bring light into the lives of others. In so doing, we will brighten our own as well.

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