By Walt Pavlo
For the Leader Herald
Look at the bright side, there were no fights, arrests or drug overdoses at Encore Boston Harbor this past weekend.
Like the rest of the country, we in Everett have a challenge in front of us to overcome this virus COVID-19. Right now, most of us need to do our city a favor and just stay indoors in an effort to avoid getting sick. The fewer of us that are in sick, the
more room they have in hospitals for those who are. This also means putting off those home projects that require the use of saws, screw drivers and ladders. We don’t need any accidents.
So, what do you do? How about the things that the busy world prevented you from doing just over a month ago? Back then, we paid more attention to our cell phone than the person sitting across the table. There were books we wanted to read but never had the time. There were people around us who yearned for our attention but we were too busy to give it to them. Today, we have been giving the gift of time.
We have things to do. Engaging in a conversation with those we love and care about. We are fortunate enough to live in a time when we can communicate by a cell phone call. We can have a virtual experience of visiting through by video chats.
Then we have time to interact with those who are around us. God knows we want to turn off the television for a moment of peace. I visited a friend of mine in federal prison last year and visitation was for 7 hours. For those 7 hours, we laughed, talked about life and had no interruptions from the outside world. No cell phone, no text messages, no updates on “breaking news.” It was a one on one conversation with another human being. It was only after the visit was over that I realized how rewarding it was for him and for me.
This time have now is a gift, like a rainbow that spans the sky. It is only going to last a moment and we should embrace it. It should be used to engage with those around us, to be thankful for what we have and to dream of a tomorrow that looked as good as the recent past we were all too busy to enjoy.
Pull out some old photos and recall the tales of those days. Remember how you felt when the picture was taken and how others made you feel. Grab a board game and play with your kids or grandkids. Take the time to be in the moment.
Books are companions. They put us into another world and stimulate our brains. We all have books on our shelves or in a drawer, some of which have never been opened. Turn off the news, relax in your favorite chair and dive into a book for a few hours.
We need to slow down the consumption of information. While we are all concerned about the state of our lives today, much of what we can do is stay at home until COVID-19 passes. The quantity of information that we are presented with each day is overwhelming. Take time to tune out for a moment.
Finally, do not quit. Get up every morning determined to do something to better yourself and those around you. Children are looking at how we react to this crisis and they are looking for comfort. Our friends and family look to us to provide stability in their own lives. We have commitments in our lives and we must, the extent possible, follow through on those. In our lives, there has never been a crisis like this and there has never been a time when we need one another more.
Stay safe, stay put and take some time to focus on a few things that will make your world a bit better.