Truthfully, it’s not honestly a question. In most places it’s a local or federal mandate, depending on the number of current Coronavirus cases. But even without a ruling by either government officials or store ownership, sometimes the choice is left with us as customers.
What I’ve seen over the past few months, both in public and on social media sites, is that there are strong beliefs on each side of the issue. Sometimes over-the-top radical strong.
Even in my own family we have fervent convictions on each side of the masking debate.
Right now my better half is midway through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for Stage 3 lung cancer. The doctor stated that contracting Covid-19 would be disastrous, both because of the current health of the lungs and because of the lowered immune system. So we both make an extra effort to have masks on while in any public spaces. We avoid going into new environments as much as possible and only do our shopping in one store.
My sister is also hyper-vigilant through this pandemic. With our 83-year-old mother living in the house with her, she is minimizing any unnecessary exposure. Sis and her husband have returned to their Sunday church services, wearing masks and staying safely away from the others, but Mom doesn’t go with them right now. She stays safely at home.
Miles away I have a cousin that is adamant about not wearing a mask. She doesn’t believe they are necessary, and boasts that she doesn’t even own one. She is extremely vocal in her thoughts about the subject and will not shop or spend any money in a store that requires a mask.
What I’ve come to think over the past few months of watching the almost insanity over this virus-related issue, is that the mask wearing debate isn’t the most important thing. After seeing countless videos shared on social media and in the news, where people from both sides of the debate berate others and act rudely, I think the biggest underlying value that needs to be looked at is our compassion.
We all have different beliefs. On most issues there is a wide range of where we each fall on the spectrum of what we believe about it. We are all human. We all have different beliefs and values – on any subject.
I think what we need is to look within ourselves and ask– are we treating one another with compassion?
Am I kind in my thoughts?
Do I understand that we each have different circumstances that may cause us to think differently than one another?
Do I know that my way isn’t always the only way?
Am I allowing others the freedom to have their own beliefs and thoughts about often-controversial subjects?
Do I feel love towards my fellow humans, or am I acting judgmentally?
Sometimes the magnifying glass that I apply to my own heart shows fissures and failures. Too often my own thoughts run closer to the ‘judgment’ line than I’d like. Sometimes I need to swallow a large dose of self-awareness to see if I’m being kind and compassionate to others.
I’m looking forward to the days when to mask or not to isn’t a question at all. Some day in the future we’ll look back on these days and all the pictures of us in masks, and it will be similar to what I see in old photographs of the 1918 flu epidemic.
Hopefully by then I will have deepened my love and concern for others so that my heart feels care and compassion. After all, that is the most important factor–not whether or note we believe the same way. Growing in this way will help us all in many aspects in life–more than whether we wear masks or not.
If you like this article, you may like, No Better Time to Show Love.
Trisha Faye writes from Texas.© 2002 - 2020, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.