Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I knew and trusted that neighbors looked out for each other. We considered everyone who lived on Famechon Ridge our neighbor, although we needed to walk at least a half a mile to see the nearest ones. In the coldest of winter months, a neighbor called when the bus picked up her boys, signaling time to walk to the end of our road to catch the bus. Folks gathered to find critters that got out and help each other with projects or loan the literal cup of sugar. We spent hours playing in a tree house or near the cornfields. Neighbors stopped to visit and there was always plenty of food to share.
It may sound like we spent a lot of time together, but realistically, we might go weeks or months without sharing the same space. We just knew folks looked out for each other. Today, we have a new opportunity to look out for each other by keeping our distance. We also have time to connect in different ways. Last night, one of my book clubs met via Zoom. Maybe you have already found yourself on telephone calls, FaceTime, Google Duo, WhatsApp, and embracing other methods of connection.
Perhaps you find yourself with more time to cook, read, play games, watercolor, write, exercise, clean a closet, or start a new project. It may also allow to reflect on how to care- for yourself and others.
What do you most need right now? How might you meet that need? (If you struggle to identify your needs, check out this free resource: https://brucknermediation.com/free-resources) Are you willing to ask for what you need? Will you accept help? What if the person does not say yes?
When needs remain unmet, conflict arises. It helps to think about what you need, and various ways to meet the need. You get to ask others to help you meet your needs. A “no” response usually represents another person’s desire to meet a personal need. What might the other person need? How are you meeting your own needs?
Be gentle with yourself and others. Be the peace, friends!