• The Low Down

Difficult times call for not difficult people

We live in difficult times. That is what we’re living in. We just have to remember not to become difficult people. And a lot of us are, unfortunately. Not that we intended it that way, I’m sure, but life happens. We’re only human. Forgive yourself. Make a pot of tea.


In such difficult times, as communities we all need to remember our history, even our recent history: we’ve had tornadoes, floods, and scandals, and it was the spirit of compassion, care, and kindness that made us all strong. Take a minute to remember that feeling. We must never forget it. Particularly now.


I and others cannot say enough how important it is that we do not – in any way shape or form – go against our neighbours.


There are many forces out there seeking to divide us over all sorts of issues, but right now that includes the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. In my humble opinion, It is probably best to make your decision on vaccines and carry on with your life. It is not your job to convince anybody of any position. Leave that to the media and governments who thrive on dictates and messaging and agendas and public policy. They are not you. All the information on vaccines is out there – pro and con – and available to everyone to sort out as they choose, and if they choose because right or wrong we are still in a position to choose. (Although some are unable to take a vaccine and have no choice.) And if you’ve had massive arguments about it and split ties to people you cared about over this, apologize and say it is none of your business what they do. It is not worth it.


What was worth everything was the care that was there before the arguments. That was gold.


All the arguments (not just over vaccines) are understandable – in that everyone is afraid – in these times of change, either for themselves or for their loved ones. No one makes good decisions or has reasonable arguments when in fear. We all will die one day. We all will lose people. We can’t stoop to fighting with each other in the meantime. Is that what we want to remember?


Long from now, it will not be the virus we remember, but the people we journeyed through such troubling times with and how we all were with each other. If you actually find yourself angry as hell at the unvaccinated or the vaccinated (or really any other issue), you’ve entered a territory that asks you to travel it in fear, judgment, hatred, and pain. You will have taken the wrong road, and it is exhausting because those are heavy burdens to carry with you. Depending on how far you’ve gone down that road, the longer the journey will be back to where you were. Take the high road. It might be steeper, but it is a better destination.


...Do not kid yourself: the present is seeking to divide us, but the future is asking us right now to stand together in strength and with the courage of compassion — not divided by fear and contempt. Compassion does not mean you don’t fight for what is right — it is how you do it. Don’t waste your time vilifying the other. That is foolishness. It is possible that if we stand together as honest caring human beings right now, side by side, differences put aside, we can find a better future that we can agree on. Anything else is a footnote….


Sylvia Shawcross

Chelsea, QC