Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Coming Out on The Other Side

More Straight Talk

One of the things I most miss during these times of confinement is the loss of personal contact with all of you. The coffee group in the morning, the walks amongst you all at the Farmers Market or out during any of the wonderful events on and around the Marco Island area.

When Maddie our dog and I take our walks during the day I’d come in contact with some of you out in Old Marco, or around Marco Lake at Mackle Park when she convinces me to load her in the car and make the short ride over there. However, I do miss bumping into you out shopping or in one of our favorite restaurants for lunch or dinner.

It is due to our conversations and your sharing of your concerns with me that I do develop some of the storylines we write about. Now granted, I do look into the substance of those subjects you share with me to ensure that there is some credence to the complaint or concerns you might have.

A young lady came to me a few months ago to share her concerns that we should be providing more shade over the various areas in our playground area. I went out and did some research on the subject and the harm that elevated temperatures can inflict on some of our children. I also found that Naples and Collier County have begun addressing those issues in their parks. I did an article on that same issue a few weeks later and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee is working with her.

I guess the point I’m trying to make lies with what kind of a society we’ll become when we come out of this terrible time we are experiencing today. We need to be very thoughtful as we emerge on the other side of this dark time we have been plunged into due to no fault of our own.

I have no doubt when we do emerge that we will be stronger than ever as a society if we take the time to reflect on the things we’ve learned about each other and about ourselves.

I don’t believe for one minute that the education system we have should be shelved for a computer screen at home. Instead, we need to make more of an effort to understand that special bond we witnessed when teachers drove around neighborhoods this last week and enjoyed the reconnection with those children they love so much. Those teachers and their young students were equally as moved by the efforts made by both student and teacher, as they both needed to reconnect with each other.

We need to concentrate on making education more stimulating for those same young people as they proceed into higher grades, rather than see them lose interest in the adventure of learning and all that it exposes them to. Maybe then those same minds will continue to absorb the wonderful exploration our teachers are capable of taking them on.

Another area I hope we don’t lose sight of lies with caring for those around us that just need a friendly smile once in a while. Why should we lose sight of their value just because they have grown a little older, a little slower and become a little more forgetful? Shame on us when we become so busy that we forget those that have paved the way for us.

The last couple of weeks as you’ve entered the grocery store you probably have been met by a young man or woman who worked diligently to ensure the cart you would take was wiped down with a disinfectant wipe to insure your cart was clean and fresh so you could go about your shopping.

While we are speaking about shopping, do you understand how lucky you are to be able to walk into a store and come out with most everything you came in to get? Now I haven’t forgotten about the over purchase of paper towels and toilet paper by some that panicked those early days, causing those shelves to stay empty. For two weeks, the supply chain scurried to catch up, but just yesterday we saw things begin to return to normal. 

Not so in many countries around the world, where fresh fruit, meats and other products were never in abundance. We are pretty damn lucky where we live.

I guess if there is anything I would like to see come out of this period is a greater understanding of just how lucky we are and the great gift that has been bestowed upon us by those that have come before us.

I have had the great privilege to travel around the world for business, and I have seen the other side of the story, one which I’m not sure many of you would like to have witnessed. We think of poverty as something like having no coffee in the morning when many around the world have never had clean water to drink or bathe in.

Yes, as we emerge from the challenges of the last 60 days we need to come out with a greater appreciation of what we have and a greater commitment of asking what we can do, rather than what can we have.

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