Kindness amidst crisis
READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - May 8, 2020 - 12:00am

I have never thought that I will experience a pandemic in my lifetime. I was not ready. Things happened too fast before I found myself being quarantined in my abode. For a few days, it felt like a long weekend. But as the days progressed, feelings of uncertainty crept in. So I decided to take a pause and let my mind observe what is going.

There are political bickerings, very pronounced in the comments sections of the famous social media platforms. People of highly sophisticated intelligence have their opinions on what is right and what is wrong with how the government is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. I also have observed fear from those who have lost their incomes and eventually their jobs. Anger from those who felt discriminated in the distribution of relief goods can be heard from several barangays or towns. Fatigue can be felt looking at the brave frontliners who are saving lives and risking their own. This negativity is reigning supreme in the corners of our society. Sadly, it is being passed by one person to another. Stress can be detected from the clearing of the throat of business leaders during their emergency meetings.

Then, there was this day that I needed to do my grocery for my fridge is almost empty. While patiently queuing, my mind went into observation mode again.

A lad, offered her seat to a lady stranger (wow, chivalry is not dead!). A child asked her mom to wear her mask properly (children can be caring too!). A senior citizen refused when she was escorted by the store personnel to their special lane. Instead, she told the personnel to give her slot to a gentlemen who obviously is a hospital staff because of his uniform (giving out your privilege is an act of humility). A customer gave a face mask to the cashier who is wearing a dirty face-cover already (don't-talk-to-strangers mantra for kids can sometimes be wrong).

This made me realize that while the birds are enjoying the serenity of the air for days already because of the absence of the smoke from the traffic and the noise pollution, the principle that says "man is basically good" is, again and again, unfolding right under my nose. Kindness is indeed expressed best by humans in doing the little things that matter in the right time. The most genuine act of care is best captured off the lens.

No one exactly knows when this pandemic will be over. No one exactly knows if we will be back to the normalcy that we are used to. But for as long as we continue to let our kindness overflow, there will always be hope that even if we will have to live with a new normal, our ability to feel for others, especially strangers, is not something new and is normal to us.

Dr. Bonifer "Bhobby" B. Nacorda

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