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Blog: Stories and Insight

Appreciating Our Connection to Each Other

Messages from Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselors

Believe it or not, Coronavirus is doing something good for us. It’s helping us to see our common humanity. It’s removing barriers between us by inspiring empathy and strengthening a sense of connection. It’s helping us to appreciate our natural connection with one another, and doing this in a most ironic way, which we’ve dubbed “Social Distancing” and “Self Quarantine.”

It strikes me that Self Isolation is ironically inclusive and social because we do it for the sake of others as well as for our own sake. Covid-19 includes everyone. It leaves no one out. It knows no division between you and me, and anyone else. It effects all equally. It transcends the normal barriers we erect between one another.

Things like race, or creed, culture or ethnicity, or political parties and the bitter divisions they spawn each election cycle. It integrates itself within rich and poor, famous and infamous, performers on the big stage and their audience in the grand theater. And it sequesters everyone on both sides of our border walls.

Another word for Covid-19 is “suffering.” Suffering is the universal human experience of “having what we do not want and wanting what we do not have.” And this, of course, is closely related to love. The greater our love, the greater our suffering when we and our loved ones are disconnected or forced apart.

And when it comes to spiritual health, now is an especially resonant time to work on caring for your soul. One redeeming factor of enforced isolation is that it creates the opportunity for spiritual contemplation and practice. – “This Pandemic of Grief,” by Alan D. Wolfelt

The Coronavirus reminds us that we are all vulnerable, and that vulnerability is central to our humanity and human experience in this world. We cannot pretend it away with denial or bluster, nor project it away through saber-rattling and scapegoating either. Nor should we even try.

Instead, Covid-19 is teaching us to acknowledge our vulnerability, just as one does in the 1st step of the Recovery Tradition. We cannot recover without acknowledging our universal human vulnerability. It’s acknowledgement that can turn our “Social Distancing”, “Self Quarantine” and isolation into a recognition of our inseparable connection with and mutual dependence upon each other. That’s because these initiatives are really acts of human inclusion and cooperation. They express a desire and intention to “do no harm” and a universal expression of love for humanity, which I hope we apply to other vulnerabilities after this one, so that our future as a human race may become more sustainable than it has been in recent times.

– Submitted by Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselor Joe DeSantis

“In this time of social distancing, we must be intentional about finding ways to decrease feelings of isolation.  There is comfort in knowing we are not alone.  While we are discouraged from reaching out to touch someone physically, reaching out to touch someone emotionally or spiritually brings encouragement.”  – Submitted by Spiritual Support Counselor Anne Elmore

Additional Inspiration

. . . About Appreciating What is Around You

“Life is a winding road.There are views that are infinitely vast with space that stretch beyond the horizon. There are views where we can’t see what’s ahead, but can choose to appreciate the beauty we can see. Whatever that place in the road we find ourselves plant your feet in the ground for a while and take in the life around you. The winding road is an illusion and the infinite possibilities the horizon offers is the hope we hold onto. The horizon is the place where the sun comes up; calling the day to begin. This is the place where the sun goes down; calling the day to end. The dusk surrenders to darkness so that we can experience another sunrise of infinite possibility. Rise with the dawn. Rest in the night. Whether infinite horizons or winding turns are in your visual field your mind wanders toward life beyond the horizon. . . . – Written by Shawn Lelion, Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselor

“With each new day, we have a choice. We can give up or we can give all we have to help make our lives, our families, our communities, and our world a better place to live.

With each new dawn, we have a choice. We can lose heart or we can learn, love, live, laugh, lift up one another.” – Submitted by Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselor Marian Mitchell


How do we know when it’s justified to be judgmental? How can I not recoil from the ugliness in the world? For an answer, I share with you the words of the great Jewish leader, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

If you see what needs to be repaired and how to repair it, then you have found a piece of the world that God has left for you to complete.

But if you only see what is wrong and how ugly it is, then it is yourself that needs repair.”

In Jewish Tradition we strive for “tikkun olam,” “Repair of the World.” Either way, look to do the necessary “repairs” — for your sake and the sake of the World. – Submitted by Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselor Richard Simon

. . . About Worry 

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened” – Marc Twain

Does this sound like you? What does this teach you?

Worry rarely accomplishes anything. And many (if not most) times it is uncalled for — “never happened.” Train your mind to worry less. Enjoy your life. It’s the only one you’ve got.

Marc Twain also said: “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” We don’t know about you, but we can’t afford this “debt.” – Submitted by Samaritan Spiritual Support Counselor Richard Simon

. . . About Hope 

Song of Hope
by Thomas Hardy
Submitted by Shawn Lelion

O sweet To-morrow! –
After to-day
There will away
This sense of sorrow.
Then let us borrow
Hope, for a gleaming
Soon will be streaming,
Dimmed by no gray –
No gray!

While the winds wing us
Sighs from The Gone,
Nearer to dawn
Minute-beats bring us;
When there will sing us
Larks of a glory
Waiting our story
Further anon –

Doff the black token,
Don the red shoon,
Right and retune
Viol-strings broken;
Null the words spoken
In speeches of rueing,
The night cloud is hueing,
To-morrow shines soon –
Shines soon!

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