I shared something on my social media page that made me realise that it is very easy to forget to be sensitive, especially during these times we are presently living in. COVID-19 has some people working from home and others are just at home practising social distancing, but they are not working. It is very tempting to think that everyone, all of a sudden, found themselves with time on their hands and as such, they must come out of this with something meaningful, a new skill, a business, etc. The post below is what I shared without thinking about the many people who may not be having the same reality right now:
I have seen a lot of posts like this one in the past weeks and while the message is meant to be encouraging, it may also be really insensitive to others. I thank God for friends who call me out every time I say something that is completely off or insensitive. It did not take too long for my best friend to send me a message saying that the post is too harsh. He reminded me to think about the many people who are going through so much right now that the last thing on their mind is starting a side hustle or beginning a new course. At the time, I got defensive and responded that I am not the person who wrote the post, but I later realised that by sharing it, I may have shown that I subscribe to the message. Subconsciously, I had agreed with the sentiment without giving it much thought.
Another good friend saw the post and wrote to me that there are many people, particularly in Wuhan, where he is based and where the virus began, who are struggling with mental health issues at the moment. Some are thousands of miles from their families and cannot go home. Those in high-risk areas such as Wuhan, Milan or New York cannot even think about being productive at this time because they are dealing with deaths every single day. My friend warned against the dangers of a single story, the assumption that we have all been blessed with plenty of time and energy to do those things we were always putting off prior to this. While this may be true for some, it is definitely not the case for everyone. Knowledge is power!!
May we be more sensitive when we post during this period. What we think may be good advice to get through the lockdown in our respective countries and/or lives may not apply to everyone. Consider also that some people have lost their only source of income and they may not even see a tomorrow at the moment. I am ashamed to admit that I was insensitive, but I have learnt my lesson and will do better from this point on.
What about you? What do you think about the messages that people should start a side-hustle, new course or learn a new skill? What other lessons are you learning in this season? Let’s share below, I always enjoy hearing from you.
Stay safe and be mindful.