Love One Another

The mask vs no mask debate is tearing us apart. There is a division between those who think masks are vital and those who don’t. There’s also a gray area of people who just want to be able to make their own choices, those who think masks are important to slow the disease but are worried about the government overstepping their bounds, and many more opinions. 

It’s out of control. 

Everywhere I look, there is hate. Oh, I see some kindness, as well, but so many people are fighting and screaming at each other that it’s hard to notice the love. I see it on Facebook pages and groups, in my friends’ posts, and in the news. 

I’m sure you’ve all seen it, too. Here are some examples, in case you’re trying to ignore it.

Woman Becomes Unhinged Over a Couple Not Wearing a Mask… and Sprays Them with Mace

“Time for the sheep to wake up and realise [sic] what’s really going on here.” – comment on Facebook

Costco shopper spits in face of man with no mask

“Another infringement on your rights.” – comment on Facebook

“thats [sic] librard speak for mask shaming dude.” – comment on Facebook

Viral video shows shopper throwing tantrum, but who protects workers?

“It’s just a mask people… not the end of the world. Just cover your face and shut up” – comment on Facebook

There’s more. So much more. It makes my heart hurt. 

I don’t understand why we can’t show love and compassion for each other, regardless of where we stand on wearing a mask. We are all on the same planet, facing the same issues — albeit in different circumstances. My feelings on mask-wearing are no less or no more valid than yours. This is not a discussion of science. 75% of the comments I see are not science-based, and I’m not trying to debate it. 

I’ve refrained from any public posting or discussion regarding the current pandemic since receiving several nasty personal attacks over the previous article. To me, that showed just how intense people feel about what is going on. Between BLM, child sex-trafficking, masks, vaccines, and regular politics, there is more hate than compassion. I am not saying that these issues aren’t important or shouldn’t be discussed. But the world can use a little more empathy.

Many religions have a tenet regarding love. A common saying when I was growing up was the Golden Rule.

Treat others as you would want to be treated. 

There are variances of the same message across the world.

Mark 12:31 in the Bible states, “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” 

The Holy Quran states, “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.”

Hinduism teaches kindness as well. “Your duty is to treat everybody with love as a manifestation of the Lord.” – Swami Sivananda

The Wiccan Rede has two statements that support the Golden Rule. “Live and let live. Fairly take and fairly give…An ye harm none, do what ye will.”

The Jewish Torah also teaches to be kind to each other. “Tzedakah [charity] and acts of kindness are the equivalent of all the mitzvot [commandments] of the Torah.”

“Do not forget that the world is one great family,” is one of the Ten Precepts of Shinto.

I could continue listing various phrases from religious texts until I run out of space on this page. I have a friend who is an atheist, and another who is agnostic. Both friends believe in treating other people — even strangers — with respect and goodwill. Whether you believe in one god, many gods, no god, or choose not to define a higher power, the message is the same: Be kind. 

I firmly believe that everyone should make a point to practice kindness, or at least politeness, regardless of where they stand on any of the issues. We don’t know the history of the person in the grocery store who isn’t wearing a mask. Perhaps he is the least vulnerable of his family but still has a medical condition that is exacerbated by mask-wearing. We also don’t know the details of the family who all wear masks. Maybe they have a loved one undergoing cancer treatment and do not want to bring any virus — COVID-19 or otherwise — home. There are countless, valid reasons for both positions in this debate.

It is ridiculous to continue to judge and demean each other over a piece of fabric. It is horrific that people are attacking others, both in-person and online, because of different viewpoints. We aren’t going to change anyone’s minds by screaming our opinions and calling names. 

Respect each other, show some compassion, and maybe, somehow, we will all get through this without creating more agony in an already distressing time. 

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