Life is not fair. Isn’t that what we tell our children when they don’t get what they want, and we want to teach them a lesson? Yet, here we are in the middle of an unprecedented global epidemic talking about fairness. We are talking about how unfair it is that professional sports have been cancelled, or college or high school. We talk about how unfair it is that our travel plans have changed and we won’t get to be able to go snow skiing for spring break this year.
What we aren’t talking about is how unfair it is that my brother is having to pull double duty in the ER because people don’t take things serious, and now he has a waiting room full of people who may or may not be infected with a virus that has single handedly shut the world down.
We don’t talk about how unfair it is that the nurse whose kids are on spring break, now has to scramble to find childcare because all the camps she enrolled her kids in are now cancelled, yet she is needed in the ICU.
We don’t talk about how unfair it is that someone’s grandma is now dead because a group of people didn’t think it was a big deal to still gather, passing the virus from one to another, not hurting them, but landing in the lungs of someone that couldn’t fight it.
Let’s start the conversation that things come up in life and we cannot change it. I didn’t cause the virus, but I know what I can do to help prevent the spread of it. I didn’t cancel events, but I can understand the rational behind the decision and do my part to stay calm.
I didn’t cause the problem, but I can try and be part of the solution.
I am not the one that will come up with a vaccine, nor am I the one that will come up with a cure. What I can cure is hunger for the kid that is left at home who relies on school for food. What I can cure is loneliness for the shut in that normally walks the mall for exercise and social interaction, but is fearful of getting sick. I can cure hardship by buying a gift certificate for a local business that may be struggling from the lack of business this epidemic has caused, or make a donation to a local arts organization.
This is our time to teach our kids. This is the time to show them that life is not fair, but sometimes there are things that are bigger than our lives that need to be addressed. We can take the time to teach our kids about charity and kindness and reaching out. We can teach them that although life may not have been fair to them, that they can be better than the hand dealt them, and do what they can to be make the world better for others.
This may be your child’s 9/11, and they will look to you to see what heroes do during tough times. What will you teach them?
We can teach them to love better. We can teach them to pray more, and more importantly, we can show them to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.
We tell them about being good human beings, and I really can’t think of a better time than right now to make this the lesson of their lives.
They may not get the chance to play in one last game, but they will have the chance to be champions in life for years to come. We just have to show them how.