Empathy and Kindness in Times of Uncertainty and Fear

I am going to keep this short and sweet. I want to be sure that my point is clear, the call to action is accessible, and the sentiments are felt. And for those of you who know me in real life, brevity is not typically my strong suit — so here I go.

If you are new to this space or a frequent guest, I want to welcome you. Through the Julia’s Genuine Life blog, Instagram, and in my daily life I try my best to live from a place of kindness and gratitude. Yes yes we know Julia, it’s plastered all over your social media, in your professional office, in your home. We get it. But one thing I don’t talk about often that is required to live a life with kindness and gratitude is: empathy. And right now, more than ever, I am witnessing acts of kindness, generosity, and thoughts of empathy.

Posts, memes, email threads, texts, the majority of people are coming together, supporting one another in the face of fear and uncertainty. And, I must say, it is a beautiful thing to watch. I am overwhelmed and thrilled to see communities coming together, businesses (local and large) supporting their patrons through changes of policies or accessibility. We must continue to operate from this place. It has taken shared universal fear and uncertainty to break down barriers and bring us together. To bring everyday kindness, generosity, and support in to the mix.

Outpouring of love and support for our healthcare workers, public service men and women, retail workers supporting the business we are flooding due to this fear and uncertainty. Actions being taken to support those who may be experiencing food insecurity, a lack in planned childcare, or financial instability because of the directives of social isolation, states of emergency etc. that we are receiving from our leadership. THIS is community. THIS is kindness. THIS is empathy.

Here comes my call to action. I am here to share with you all (whomever has made it this far in the post) that I sincerely hope you take a moment to reflect. Reflect on this kindness, community, and empathy we are feeling. And most importantly, I am asking you to allow yourself to be changed by this experience. My personal fear is that just as quick as we have been to come together to support one another and live in this space, we will just as quickly return to where we were (once we, collectively, move through this time).

Allow yourself to remember the fear, uncertainty, and instability that you may be experiencing due to these extraordinary circumstances. And, with humility, remind yourself for many in our community that this is their every day reality. Not just during times of national disaster or public health crises. We are facing this virus as a human race. This virus does not discriminate, it knows no bounds, and it has created fear in us, as humans. As we move forward, please do the work that you need to do, internally and externally, to remind yourself daily to progress with humility, kindness, gratitude, and empathy. Kindness does not discriminate, it knows no bounds, and it will create unity in us, as humans.

The featured photo is from my time that I spent in Florence in 2014. A place that holds an immeasurable amount of value in my personal journey. In the beautiful words of Dante Alighieri as he exits the pits of hell in Inferno, the words that I have tattooed on my body and that changed my life: “e quindi uscimmo, a riveder le stelle.”

[And we emerged to see, once again, the stars.]

Xx Julia

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