Compassion needs to be part of the new normal
- Alyson Bear | October 06, 2020
With summer coming to an end and school about to begin, as parents we are all wondering what we are going to do? What is this year is going to look like? How do we prepare our children or even how do we feel safe and comfortable sending our kids back?
As a single income household, I have no real choice in sending my children back to school or not and managing everything. I have already had many curveballs thrown my way in life so I understand that anything could happen any day. This unpredictability in the future is what we need to be prepared for while we send our children back to school. It is always good to have back up plans but not always easy, especially in single-parent households.
If Covid-19 and 2020, in general, has taught us anything it is that nothing is a guarantee and that certain things in life will always be out of our control. The one thing that is in our control is ourselves and how we prepare our children. I am sad my youngest will be starting kindergarten this way, but I will do my best to not instill fear and anxiety in her because of, not just the transition to kindergarten, but doing it during this whole pandemic. This is a new learning curve for all of us, together.
As we go back to school and work, some will continue to be online and others will have new protocols to follow and many of our plans we had have changed significantly already. We are adapting to these changes which is another lesson that we can take from this pandemic. Change means leaving our comfort zones for something new and this also means we can create a more aware and conscious world with more compassion and understanding.
The world needs more compassion when it comes to people’s situations, lives, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. We are learning now that we can accommodate people with different needs and abilities whether that is working from home or having more support for someone who might not be able to adjust as easily as someone else.
Being more considerate of others is something that needs to happen, especially in the workplace. Personally, I have been having a hard time trying to find stable support due to pulling my kids from daycare since the start of this pandemic. My children and I are figuring out what back to school looks like, their schedule, my schedule as I am also two months into a new job transition myself amidst the pandemic.
While we know now more than ever that we cannot predict the future, unexpected things happen in life and this also means being more considerate and understanding of the situations people are in. I can only speak to my own lived experience as a single parent. There are challenges that we face on our own and I have been told that it’s my own fault that I am a single parent. Now because one parent is absent the other is forced to carry the brunt and work twice as hard as everyone around them. This is the reality of the type of world we live in, every person for themselves, very individualistic.
I think we are entering a shift that is more community-driven and which circles back to the way in which Indigenous peoples traditionally lived. We helped one another. Our Nations were only as strong as our weakest members. Our tax systems were not compulsory, we helped those who needed help because we had more. I find the answer to everything is coming full circle and back to who we truly are. I feel as though this capitalist, patriarchal, individualist society is really showing its true colors amidst the people being pushed into new and uncomfortable comfort zones where we can hopefully, learn and grow together.
To live in a community and society where I feel safe and supported is the ultimate goal, despite being a single parent with the odds stacked against me. Having more people who are understanding can only benefit everybody and especially our children, versus being quick to judge and impose biases to look down on others. Out with the old mentality and make way for a new which puts our health before wealth. I know we are still not there yet, but I choose to be hopeful and that the power remains in the people. Due to the unpredictability we enter together maybe we can be more compassionate to one another.
I pray for a smooth transition for everyone and that all our babies stay safe.