For just a minute, imagine a solitary child on a playground at a school during recess not being allowed to join a game he very much would like to play. The other children are not being mindfully mean, they are just enjoying their game as it was created and they think that adding another player will disrupt its flow.
So they ignore or otherwise not let this child play, who stands alone, watching, isolated, sad.
I think we’ve all been that lonely child at some point in our lives. And we’ve probably all contributed to a child being isolated. Perhaps not directly, not mean-spiritedly (but perhaps that way, too). Much isolation comes from people simply not taking the time to notice.
Now imagine a different scenario, one in which there is room for every child to play. Attitudes are structured so each additional player adds to the value of the game, even if the addition changes it.
I believe the pandemic is offering us the opportunity to adjust our attitudes in just this way. We are realizing through the spread of the virus that we are all connected and dependent, that our individual health is dependent on our collective health and vice versa.
What behavior can you begin or enhance that helps you adopt this attitude, creates a world in which everyone can play? A behavior that honors and celebrates our interconnectedness?
To do this effectively you might need to get creative. What might this look like in your life? How can YOU include others? Also, think about the benefits of doing so.
Sharon Salzberg, in her book “The Kindness Handbook,” wrote, “Including others (is) often like watching something unfurl and begin to flower within them.”
Such is my suggestion to you, to be part of this unfurling.