We might all be facing a storm right now, but we must stop pretending we’re all in the same boat.
Some people are faring this storm in a cruise ship liner. They’re safe and dry and are enjoying the in-house entertainment. They’re binge watching Netflix and getting into baking and relishing the opportunity to exercise. Life feels good at a slower pace. They can feel the water rocking the boat, but their boat is sturdy and they’re willing to ride it out for as long as it takes. Sometimes, they admit, it’s easy to forget they’re even in a storm at all.
Others are in a rowing boat. It feels frightening and dangerous and hard work. They can’t help but think about the storm all the time; water is pouring in faster than they can get it out and they’re worried about staying afloat. Many are rowing with one hand, and teaching, cooking, cleaning, working and trying to make ends meet with the other. Some are rowing on their own, and it feels like a very lonely journey with no end in sight. They’re being told to be positive and productive and to make the most of this time, but it feels impossible when the storm is all-consuming. Surviving is enough of a job for now.
Then there are the people on rescue boats. They are exposed to the worst of the elements and bearing the brunt of this storm. They don’t feel safe in their boat because it isn’t fit for purpose. Some of the rescuers have life vests on but many do not. Instead they have been offered a badge to keep up morale. They are risking their lives in a storm that feels never ending and exhausting. They are making decisions about who they should save because they have had to accept that they are unable to save them all.
It’s nobody’s fault, the boat that they’re in, but we have to be mindful that they’re not the same.