So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Further Quotes to Keep Current Events in Perspective
At this point, the phrase “let us out – please” is a mantra for us. We’ve been self-quarantined for quite a while. And we’re yearning to get out of the house. So, what should be okay for us to do? And who should decide what we can do?
What Should Be Okay for Us to Do?
Up to this point, many of us have been limited to these out-of-the-house activities: walking/exercising by ourselves, grocery shopping, and going to the pharmacy. Some may have also used curbside pickups.
But, now what? As the number of states “opening up” hits double digits, which of these DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING? For which will you wait? First, we focus on discretionary activities — those that we voluntarily choose to engage in.
As we noted, the above are voluntary. That is, they are our choice. However, other activities may soon be required of us. Without them being at our discretion. These include:
Returning to work or school.
Walking on busy streets.
Taking mass transit.
Using public bathrooms.
Being less than six feet apart from other employees/students while working or attending class.
Being required to wear masks/gloves for lengthy time periods during the day.
Staying in dormitory housing.
That leads us to our second question.
Who Should Decide What We Can Do?
Wow. This has turned into a real “hot button” question. And there are lots of possible answers.
Recently, there have been protests around the U.S. about required self-quarantining. Those protesters believe too much has been shut down. And that they should be able to choose their activities. On the other hand, the vast majority of those polled believe that mandatory self-quarantining is necessary to enforce social distancing rules.
Before outlining possible decision makers, we must address the elephant in the room. Can we and our fellow Americans be trusted to adhere to voluntary social distancing rules? Or must these rules be legally mandated to be followed?
Unfortunately, for a sizable number of people, “voluntary” means that these rules don’t apply to me. Let’s try to be apolitical here. With blue and red state examples. In New York City, some people continued to go to parks, play outdoor basketball, etc. This lasted until rules were more strictly enforced. In Florida, some people do not practice social distancing while going to reopened beaches. That state is leaving it up to residents to self-regulate themselves.
Now, let’s outline just some of those who are making decisions that affect our health and livelihoods:
Federal government and agencies
State governments and agencies
Local governments and agencies
Specific authorities (such as mass transit)
Public institutions (such as libraries and schools)
Private institutions (such as banks)
Employers (both public and private)
US [intentionally listed last]
At this juncture, the preceding mix of responsibilities and authority seem rather disjointed. That is why interesting times are ahead.
Is it OK to feel self-pity? Read on for an interesting discussion.
Many of us (including the author) have — at least for a brief time — felt sorry for ourselves during our l-o-n-g self-quarantining period. So, three questions occur to us. (1) What is self-pity? (2) Is this an acceptable form of behavior? (3) How do we avoid feeling sorry for ourselves?
Note: In this article, we treat “feeling sorry for ourselves” and “self-pity” as interchangeable terms.
Feeling sorry for yourself/myself means to think a lot about your own problems. A person who is “feeling sorry for” him- or herself is not only sad, but also thinking things like: “Why did this have to happen to me?” “It’s not fair!” “No one loves me.” “Everything is ruined now!”
If you’re completely focused on feeling badly about your own problems and complaints, you’re feeling self-pity. Your self-pity can make it hard to appreciate that other people may face more serious troubles than you do.
When you feel sorry for yourself, or overly sad about the difficulties you face, you’re indulging in self-pity. It’s often easier to identify self-pity in other people than in yourself, partly because your own self-pity keeps your attention focused inward.
Is Self-Pity an Acceptable Form of Behavior?
Some experts believe that self-pity is almost never acceptable behavior. However, we believe that answering this question depends upon three issues. One, the severity of the negative situation. Two, our level of control to fix a bad situation. And three, how long we allow ourselves to engage in self-pity.
I don’t think anyone should spend too much time feeling sorry for themselves. But, sometimes I do feel sorry for myself. It’s a natural human emotion. And one you have to fight to get over when you feel it creeping in. It’s okay to sometimes indulge that feeling, insofar as you might want to spend an evening on the couch crying and eating chocolates. Or whatever else it is you do when you’ve decided the world has constricted into a tiny bubble that includes only your head. At the same time, nothing else exists except your extreme sorrow.
Most of the time, indulging in a little bit of self-important wallowing is the best way to move on. I often feel that once I’ve wasted a day feeling sorry for myself, the next day I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. As well as ready to pick myself up by the seat of my pants and enthusiastically have at it again. Cleansing yourself of self-pity is important, because if you hang onto it it will make you unbearable and unproductive.
Self-pity causes you to think, “I deserve better.” On the other hand, gratitude is about thinking, “I have more than I deserve.” So the easiest way to conquer feelings of self-pity is to change the way you think.
Studiesshow that the feeling of gratitude offers a variety of benefits, including better sleep, improved health, better stress resilience, and more mental strength.
Every time you are tempted to complain about how bad your situation is, think about three things you’re grateful for. Some people even take it a step further and write them down in a gratitude journal.
It can feel like you’re missing out on a bunch of awesome life experiences, and that can be a tough thing to swallow. But eventually life will get back to normal.* And it’s crucial to keep reminding yourself of that fact. Also, you’re not the only one dealing with this right now; the entire country, and most of the world is, too. While you’re in the thick of this experience, even when you’re upset that you’re missing out on certain things, it’s crucial to still allow for moments of happiness.
* Although, it is likely that we will face a “new normal” for at least a while. Therefore, we should try as hard we can to be grateful when we return to some semblance of normal — even if it is a new normal!!!! 🙂
Click the image to read a lot more helpful tips by Miller.