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The lucky ones


In many places, the world population suffers in ways that most of us, especially here in the U.S., couldn’t imagine.
Often, through worldwide politics and pressure tactics, many of the world’s leaders try to intervene, negotiate, or moderate it. Average people around the world rally, protest and donate to activist groups, also trying to modify the cause or mitigate the fallout. People volunteer, protest, and use their votes and voices to articulate what the persecuted and victimized need help vocalizing for themselves.
The fight to create a better world may never end, but most people do what they can anyway, working for progress and the betterment of as many others as possible, or at least balance for all; that’s the way it should be.
COVID, in its darkness, actually taught many of us a great deal. This horrible pandemic took a huge toll on the world and we are, all of us, at the very least, changed by it. The greatest price was paid, of course, by every victim whose life was stolen, or who lost a loved one. Others escaped with only the experience and a brow swipe but few, if any, are left unaltered as nearly no one endured the episode without his/her optimism, naiveté, and innocence being modified, if not broken.
There were also those who sacrificed months of being near or with their children, spouses, extended family and friends, completely, while they did nothing more than work for the victims and isolate themselves, when at home, to protect their loved ones. Then, there were those who defied the demon to keep the rest of us in toilet paper, produce and hand sanitizer. There were those who delivered our mail and medications, continued to work where ambulances, police, fire, transportation, and a thousand other types of daily work and living assistance were required. All were paying it forward in the hopes of seeing the day the storm would clear.
Regardless of the particulars, all of us still standing have blessings to count. So now, we begin to see life returning to some level of normalcy. That, in and of itself, is like being reborn. Our lesson may not be over, especially around the globe, but if we’re here to fight another day, we’re the lucky ones … even they who fight the science and swim against the current are lucky.

The vaccine, my daughter says, “… is a mixture of faith and science.” Sadly, both here in the states and around the world, some people are fighting both. We all know there will always be a percentage of humanity that will grind their collective teeth, raise a shoulder against the thrust that is progress, blind themselves in an effort to advocate their view, and fly in the face of common sense. That’s how we know we’re not all dead. Despite its shortcomings, foibles and even its criminal element, humanity is a beautiful thing.
We are, by and large, a world society of mostly good heart. The drawback of that is that it allows too many who seek power and success to require a brand of assertion that can dry up compassion. Still, what we need to always remember is that there will always be more compassion that blind ambition. The majority must fight to maintain that equilibrium.
When something so unexpected, like COVID, can render such damage to so many, it can – or at least it should – and indeed, it did, give a long pause and launch a powerful punch to the world’s collective heart. Reentry into some level of life as it had been has also altered the attitude of a large number of people, even the ambitious ones.
If this pandemic has taught us all anything, it has taught us that humans, as we exist as social animals, have much more to concern ourselves with than how much we paid for our handbag or that promotion we had our heart set on. The minutiae never really did matter. Now, hopefully, no one will ever again forget to remember that.
The true rewards in life are being able to hug someone we love, in person, to feel and give joy, to break bread and toast to good health with our neighbors and friends. These were taken from us by an enemy too small to see. If we’re here to acknowledge that lesson, if we’re here to celebrate the illumination, if we’re here to mourn our losses and love one another once again, we are the lucky ones.
Hold that thought.