Listen

I read the headline, today, with encouragement, ‘We are optimistic’: SIU Preparing to welcome students back to campuses this fall.’  New president Daniel Mahony, was quoted as saying in reference to the goal of SIU, ‘to have students back on campus and to offer face-to-face, on-the-ground education this fall, and we are optimistic that we will be able to do so.’  President Mahony believes that the University will reach phase 4 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan by August.  ‘Phase 4 allows schools and universities to provide on-the-ground education with approved safety guidance.’    Southern Illinoisan

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Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale is of paramount importance to our students and to the people of our region.  It is the economic engine that propels Little Egypt.  Creative thinking is needed now more than ever.  For the present, social distancing and face masks and hand washing…are the best preventatives that are available.  Our finest virologist and epidemiologist and scientist…are on the case!  I would ask, when you are scheduled to have surgery…do you bring along your, trusted minister, to perform the procedure?  Or, if you’re, or my, life hangs in the balance…will we seek our favorite politician to diagnose our illness?  In our society of extremes…is it a good thing that we stay home bound until a vaccine is produced, even if it takes a few years?  Or, is it something to rejoice over when a state Supreme Court overturns a governor’s stay at home order…and the bars immediately open their doors and become packed from wall-to-wall?

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The 1918 Spanish flu had much the same guidance given by the medical professionals of that day…masks and social distancing…were they being political and inflating the danger of the pandemic…over 50 million people died?

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If there ever was a more inappropriate or untoward time to point fingers at others or to recriminate or castigate members of our human family in regard to how they are dealing with our 2020 pandemic…I do not know when it was.  Each of us entered these uncharted waters with our own sets of problems and worries and sleepless nights…and now we need the comfort and understanding of others…as we ride out this earth shattering storm.  This is not the time to yell fire in a crowded theatre…and it is not the time to ensure that we violate every medical and scientific suggestion that has been given us for our survival…

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Over many challenges I have learned that the way through any trial or tribulation is a cool head and an honest heart.  Empathy has brought me peace in troubled times.  The ability to place yourself in the shoes of someone that you disagree with, and to understand why they feel the way that they do.

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Listening is a gift.  I have not know a plethora of gifted listeners in my life.  I have had the pleasure of knowing some.  We are all seeking someone who will listen to us.  Someone who has the time, and who cares enough, to hear our fears and hopes and dreams.  Someone who is not listening to respond with their solution for our problems…but someone who loves us…for who we are…

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27887162-8274579-Health_warnings_advised_people_to_keep_their_bedroom_windows_ope-a-48_1588685748756Note: Photos are colorized from the Spanish flu and courtesy of Google Search.

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