SLOAN COLUMN: Confinement: A blessing or a curse?
They never heard of an unemployment check and certainly not a pandemic check.
With every morsel of food generated from the soil under their feet, every meal made from scratch, multiple mouths to feed, water to tote, laundry by washboard, along with the absence of radio, TV, phone or car in a garage, our ancestors just a few generations back were so captivated by their own concerns and daily living that they had little thought about what was happening on the other side of town let alone the other side of the world. Chatting with one’s spouse and children around the hearth or on the front porch was the height and summation of their “R and R.”
Now think about how far we have “advanced” in today’s society. Even with every amenity of communication device and entertainment gadget, our home confinement today invariably leads to a fatigued stare at one another. This pandemic we have been “cursed” with is imposing a painful confinement — something of a disguised incarceration. With most everything closed we have nowhere to go. We have an abundance of time like we have never had before — homebound with family and spouse. Not accustomed to such lengthy interpersonal time at home can readily become for us, on-the-go people, disturbing and stressful.
We Americans are the most on-the-go people on the planet, but COVID-19 has brought the hustle and bustle of our American way of life to a screeching halt. Cabin fever is now setting in for many of us, perhaps making us fidgety, antsy and restless; prompting us to be wall-climbers and maybe a bit stir-crazy.
Our DNA from the hand of our Creator is to live in unity and love with Him and one another. Human happiness is predicated on the stabilizing impact of interpersonal harmony and unity. As fish need water to live, we require love/relationship from birth to death to enjoy life here and hereafter.
The correlation found so often in criminals — especially identified with heinous mass murderers — is that they were sociopathic — “loners”. We become sick without receiving and giving care to one another.
We Americans have been a people generously endowed with an abundance of this world’s goods. Sadly, we tend to love ‘things” more than one another. We tend to have a higher quest for possessions than love relationships. The expenditure of our time and money tells who we are.
Our ancestors lived in a forced confinement much like we are in today. They leaned on one another like we should be doing today.
Our present situation offers us a chance to actually spend time together. That’s a good thing, it really is. If we take advantage of it, we might just get to know each other – our spouses, our kids, our neighbors – just a little bit better. Our relationships could and likely will be even be better because of it.
It’s an opportunity we should not take for granted.
There is a blessing to be found amidst this cursed confinement.