Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach
A 3 yr old boy reveals the solution to our nations problems...
Recently I was on a walk with my two and three year old boys. Our family walks have been limited the last two months, partially because of Ohio's bad weather, but mostly out of respect for our nation's response to the COVID pandemic.
My boys have sat by the door crying on days because they want to be free and run around the near by park, but caution tape is draped across the playground. Even on days when we did decide to stroll the neighborhood, some neighbors won't go with 10 ft of people.
A few days ago we had some decent weather so we decided to walk around the block and let our boys be boys and run around. As we were making our way through the neighborhood we were coming up on a house where a mother, father and their 3 yr boy were out front playing.
As the boy saw my two boys joy filled his face. What happened next was amazing.
This particular house had small American flags planted all over the front yard in celebration of Memorial Day. This young boy pulled two flags out of the ground and ran to my boys holding the two small symbols of freedom.
The mother of course asked, "Is it OK for my son to get close to your boys." We said, "Of course!" So the neighbor boy approached and gave my sons the symbolic gifts of freedom. All three of them then stood and awkwardly looked at each other wanting to play and be friends.
The mother of the neighbor boy said that her son has also stood at the door crying on occasion, wanting to be a child and be outside running around. As we were just about to continue our family walk I witnessed something that nearly made me cry.
The neighbor boy's mother told her son that it was time to go inside, before he obeyed his mom he stopped and looked at his mother. He asked, "Can I hug them?" His mother quickly responded with, "It's probably not a good idea." My wife and I both replied, "If it's OK with you, it's OK with us."
The boy walked to my sons, who were perfect strangers moments ago, and with wide open arms embraced his new friends as tight as he could. My sons were all for it and an external display of the hearts cry for love and human connection was had right there on the sidewalk of rural Midwest America.
Some may be thinking, "That's irresponsible! What about social distancing?" Let's talk about what this isolation and stay at home order has done as the solution, shall we?
A group of California doctors have said that their region as seen more suicide deaths during this lock down then COVID deaths. The state of Tennessee reported that in one week they saw more suicide deaths then COVID deaths.
It's about now that the peanut gallery begins throwing comments like this out, "But this virus is deadly and killing so many!"
The county of San Diego recently reported that their number of 194 COVID deaths, is actually only 6. The CDC also admitted to sending out COVID test kits contaminated with the actual virus. The CDC recently stated that the fatality rate is .26% and 13 times lower then the initial WHO claim.
The state of Colorado dropped its death count by 300 after a lawsuit. This list could go on and on with dozens of similar articles.
With so many questions circulating, it seems clear that the impact of our response to COVID has been far more deadly then COVID. Some areas have seen an domestic violence increase of over 50% during the lock down. The amount of people starving to death during our response to this pandemic has likely doubled.
The number of Americans unemployed is now over 36 million. More then 100,000 small businesses have closed for good, all of this for a virus that has less then a .20% death rate, that's if you even contract it.
Kids little league seasons canceled, public pools closed for the summer, and graduation ceremonies canceled. And those that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction have been relapsing and overdosing at sky rocketing rates.
Still think the lock down was a good idea?
As my two sons embraced a fellow child on the sidewalk of our neighborhood something dawned on me. In the same way that kids need to play with each other, they need to have relationships, they need to run around, and they need love and attention, so do us adults.
We need love. We need someone that will listen and laugh with us. We need to listen to others and bear their burdens. These are basic human needs, and this lock down has revealed that we need these basics nearly as much as oxygen.
I believe we can build healthier communities after this pandemic, but will we remember what we missed and learned during this time?
Will we seek to be united, or will we continue to find ways to divide?
The ripple affects of this lock down will linger in our society's mental health for years to come. But what if we could speed up the healing by making the main thing the main thing again?
The little neighborhood boy that ran to my two boys showed me so much about the human heart that day.
This boy wasn't concerned about what we thought of him, he was more concerned with connection and relationship. His first thought was freedom as ran towards us bearing gifts. He wanted relationship and he needed interaction. He just wanted to hug his friends.
I believe we can speed up the healing process this nation needs by doing what this boy did.
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