A private letter to those who have “thrived” during the pandemic
It’s great to hear you’ve been doing so well during COVID-19. In fact, you told me you were “thriving”. That’s fantastic. It’s always great to hear when someone is feeling positive in a crisis. Especially when so many others aren’t. You must be more resilient than most. Either that – or you’re an introvert like myself. I too have been thriving – especially back at the beginning of all this. I enjoyed the time at home. The simple lifestyle. The extra hours with my immediate family. The option to work from home. I was grateful for sustained employment. I was thankful for the change of pace. I relished the new sense of purpose I had. I marvelled at the technology which enabled me to stay connected. There were so many wonderful things about that time… And it sounds like you can relate. But when we’re in our own bubbles and all is well in the world, it’s easy to forget not everyone is thriving. Not everyone is still employed. Not everyone is able to give to charities. And not everyone has the kind of support we have… It was sobering to read that poem about how we’re all in the same storm – but in different boats. As the writer points out, for some this has been a time of peace, rest – a holiday of sorts. Yet for others it’s been torture. It’s been tough for: · Extroverts used to connecting in person with the wider community (such as my husband). · People who like to know what’s happening in advance. · People who’ve lost their jobs and financial security. People in hospitality, air travel and tourism, creative arts and sports and recreation. · International students who can’t access JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments. · Younger workers and older women. · Single people and single parents. · Those with no post-school qualifications. · The disadvantaged, or who don’t own their own home. The list goes on. And it looks like many will need government support well beyond September or October. Those who are thriving tend to forget about those who aren’t. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The complacent tend to stay in their bubbles because it’s comfortable there. As a “thriver”, it’s an important time to remind myself how much I have. And do something bigger for those who have little. May we who are thriving share some of our ‘seeds’ so others might plant a new garden of their own. May we who are healthy offer medicine to the sick. May we, the employed, share our strength with those who are weak. May those surrounded by friends and family reach out to those who are alone. A few weeks ago, Australia’s Prime Minister prodded us to come out from under the doona. It’s particularly hard to emerge when you’re tucked up in your own bed. But it’s even harder when you have no job security; no guarantees for the future; no support. So today, I’m speaking to myself in particular. Be brave enough to come out from hiding, because the world needs you. Keeping the current restrictions in mind, start reaching out. Let’s plant seeds in others’ gardens, and show them how to water them. Let’s give. Let’s love. And let’s re-connect. You’re too valuable to stay under the doona forever. Thrive, not for your own sake. Thrive so others may thrive as well. I look forward to seeing how we make a difference together. Your friend, Alison
Alison lives in Sydney's south-west with her pastor husband and two sons. She's a journalist who recently switched to a career in marketing, and is soon to graduate from Morling College with a Bachelor of Ministry.