For the past few days I have been scouring for loo roll – even one roll – to no avail. As I stand with my shopping trolley littered with items I would not ordinarily buy because there are no eggs, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and many of the things I would normally purchase I am wondering if this is an opportunity for us to think what ‘listening’ means in our society today as we navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has produced. How has our listening changed under these extreme measures? Our behaviour of filling our trolleys to the ceiling perhaps due to the unknown or protectiveness towards our families and loved ones or simply through instinctive panic or even greed, it does beg the question: How are we listening to ourselves in these extreme times? How does our internal listening affect our actions?
I have long believed that listening stems from within the body. Now more than ever we are all tested in ways unexpected and unimaginable and therefore the need to listen to each one of our story’s is so much more magnified. We can all feel and hear the crisis upon us but our social behaviour and codes of practice will come about through listening. Thankfully, we are witnessing great acts of kindness, compassion and respect which are all forms of listening. Listening is like a see-saw; give and take; that is what this whole crisis gives us an opportunity to do – give and receive with gratitude.
Toilet rolls are not important enough to fight over or to upset our internal harmony; likewise accumulating large quantities of food leaving the shelves empty for others is not the answer either. Perhaps I’m suggesting that we mind the gap between non-constructive behaviour and common sense.
Let’s listen out for those who need our help and use the space to take a breather. Together we can rule out creating a travesty in favour of sharing and caring in the community.
Let’s take no more food and utilities than we need – this crisis is not about a lack of food.
This crisis is about listening – let’s stand back and listen.
A metre apart will make all the difference and please do mind the gap.