Our little community during much the Covid-19 quarantine consisted of our niece and two of our adult daughters. We were together under one roof for many months and learned a good deal during that time in lockdown.
Stuck in the same house for weeks on end could be a recipe for disaster. Tight quarters. Powerful personalities. Energy trapped with nowhere to go but a long walk around the block… again. Like everyone, we had to restructure our attitudes and daily rhythms to stay in UNITY. And believe it or not, my prayer that we would emerge from this journey closer than before was answered.
So… what did we learned?
LOVE. Not fuzzy, syrupy ‘love.’ But genuine love. LOVE that is sincere. LOVE where there is NO game playing, self-pity or manipulation. LOVE where no one speaks poorly or gossips about others. LOVE that is completely FOR one another. This is the love that diffuses conflict before it happens. Trust me.
SERVICE. Selfishness kills community. The best way to combat selfishness is to be selfless. Thinking more about the needs of the people you live with than your wants and needs destroys the cancer of selfishness. Think: More YOU. Less ME, MY, MINE. And teach your kids to do the same. Remember, every selfless act is a hefty deposit in your relationship account. When this is all over, you will have a surplus of goodwill to spend. Not a stinging deficit of ingratitude and resentment.
RESPECT. We all process stress differently. Know that the people you live and work with might handle this challenging season differently than you. Some may struggle more than others in your house. Some need more space. Others might not do well alone. Respecting others’ social and emotional needs and doing the little things to meet them, breathes life-giving pure oxygen into your community.
FORGIVENESS. FORGIVE QUICKLY AND OFTEN! How? A quick ‘I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” followed by a quick, “You bet, I know you love me and didn’t mean it.” Don’t let offense root and fester. Don’t fake being happy when you’re angry. Deal with offense now! The time is over for half-hearted, ‘if I feel like it’ forgiveness. From now on, we apologize quickly and forgive just as fast. (Or at least, we try 7X70!) Humility is the key to take you where you want to be here. Giving and accepting forgiveness takes a humble spirit. It means admitting you hurt someone or someone offended you and immediately making things right. Forgiveness is gold. Forgiving heals and binds us together. It is the agent ensuring that when we go back to ‘normal’ each person will know they are loved and valued.
Love, Service, Respect, and Forgiveness are POTENT ways of keeping your personal peace and joy. And you can take responsibility and make your community a pleasant and thriving place to live; especially during this crisis.
Let me encourage the people in your home to buy into the “Fab Four” (Love, Service, Respect, and Forgiveness). Embrace these values to bring unity in the community whether you are forced into lockdown or not.
We hope and pray you join the fight for unity in your home. It’s a daily battle! And the fruit of victory will remain long after quarantine passes.
By Tamara and Lawrence Glasner