At that time in recent history, none of us had experienced – or witnessed a pandemic. Only in movies did mayhem reign, like in ‘Contagion’ or ‘Panic in the Streets.’ Mobs looting pharmacies and neighbor turning on neighbor. Ruthlessly reduced to savagery, the fall of humankind.
Who would have imagined a run on toilet paper, depleting market shelves, as if it were more important the food.
Hoarding – there have been infamous TP brawls – and the subsequent behavioral changes may seem weird:
These return-to-savage changes have altered humanity, but there’s been an opposite and more-than-equal effect. COVID-19 has spawned a global epidemic of kindness. Countless people and business have found ways to help: 1. delivering groceries to immuno-compromised shut-ins, 2. restaurants have retained staff, keeping them vitally employed, to provide take-off for frazzled moms and dads, 3. farms have donated milk, tomatoes, and other perishable to food banks.
This proves that TP is not more important than food.
Disasters rip away the tidy fallacy of self-reliance, to which Americans are prone. Disasters lay bare our utter dependence on one another. We’ve experienced this before after monster tornadoes, floods, blizzards, and ice storms. Few wait until the government steps in to fix the problem. We become bands of brothers and sisters – and human beings – rushing to utilize our skillset to the benefit of others.
Endorphins and camaraderie and Good Samaritanism. That’s why we commit easily to helping strangers. Selfless acts creat joys in the soul.
It’s altruism born in suffering – and it has not-so-surprising side effects. Helpers feel healthier and of Purpose, which is a basic human need. It distracts one from their personal plight. It creates an affinity of spirit.
Kindness can unite a country and return us to a state of hope and love.
Human beings can fall into a trap of thinking that well-being is a zero-sum game. Some think of altruism as a transfer, a time to laud over another, to derive strength from a better-than-thou attitude.
The truth is that Kindness has mutual benefit – and we will be happier and more content. God bless us all, every one.