Thoughts along the path . . .
When the Doorbell Rings
John and I had just sat down for supper when the doorbell rang. More accurately: Someone rang our doorbell. Frankly I was startled and didn’t know what to do. Before these days of “social distancing” I would not have been surprised. I may have been annoyed, thinking it was probably someone selling something. Or I may have been pleased, since perhaps a friend was stopping by for an impromptu visit. But now? Should we answer and just hope whoever is there isn’t standing too close to the door? Should we ignore it and then after a few minutes check for a note or other clue to who had been here? What if it were someone needing help – what would we do in that case?
What crazy times we are living in, when a ringing doorbell can bring such a mixture of thoughts and emotions!
Oh, and just so you don’t wonder: We did answer it and were happy to have done so. The doorbell ringers turned out to be a local Baha’i family dropping off their contribution to our group’s donation to the Food Bank. If we hadn’t answered, they would have left the food anyway. Since we did answer, our reward was getting a chance to exchange smiles, if not hugs. And we had a moment of chit chat without a computer monitor in front of us.
Like perhaps many of you, I am using my computer (or tablet or phone) more than ever these days. On top of my usual activities, I now also depend on it for most of my social life. Emails, skype sessions, google hangouts for meetings, facebook and other social networks. Truly we humans are hard-wired to connect with each other. If anyone ever wondered, the COVID-19 pandemic is a harsh reminder.
I keep thinking about the irony of our current situation. Yes, we are learning more about how much we need each other. But at the same time we are being forced to stay apart. It seems to me that this only makes sense if we look to the future, when we will have a chance to apply what we are learning and to reinvent ourselves, our society, and our individual lifestyles.
In the meantime, I am also thinking about the words of Baha’u’llah (the Prophet-Founder of the Faith) regarding how to greet other people: “Look upon him with a bright and friendly face.” If I can’t do it in person, I’ll gladly do so through my laptop monitor.
Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, April 2020
© Jaellayna Palmer 2020