Compassion, Tender hearts, and Pandemic

Disclaimer: All Scarred Joy posts reflect the author’s view of the world. This one is no different.

I dedicate this Scarred Joy post to my close friend and Covid-19 teacher, Nurse Candi.

In March 2020, the world changed forever. Terms like, “lockdown,” “self-isolation,” “Coronavirus,” “Covid-19,” “virus,” and “pandemic,” became a permanent part of the vernacular. Conspiracy theories became rampant whether the virus posed a genuine threat to anyone or was part of a global plan to take over the world. Misinformation on social media platforms added to the bombastic and overkill of information regarding the pandemic.

I have found it difficult to keep up with how the pandemic has impacted people. I am aware people have died from Covid-19. Others have become sick enough to require hospital care. Society now recognizes doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals as heroes. True dedication and compassion partnered together to save lives.

Although I don’t talk about it often I am aware the pandemic has impacted my life. I am not a hero. Since retirement I am no longer a healthcare professional. All I know is how to be me, like it or not. During this point in time, I hope to find out what I might learn from a pandemic or a world crisis. I am eager to learn what this season of unheard of world change might teach me about myself?

I do not have a scientific mind; therefore I don’t cram my mind with fears of the unknown or data about Coronavirus-19. I’m more interested and focused on how a time like this impacts the lives of people. Here are a few points of what I have been thinking about and observing.

This is a time for the tender-hearted. Although it took me a long time to recognize and admit, I am tender-hearted. I’m sure there are people who might question this, but I accept this part of my personality. This does not mean I am better than anyone else. This means, however, I’m not afraid to show emotions when confronted with sensitive matters or events in life. 

This worldwide virus brings out the worst or best in humanity. From my personal point of view, I hope it highlights the good in me amid Covid nightmares. Included in my tenderhearted way of looking at life, I notice other tenderhearted, compassionate people.

The world is all too ready to show its baser side during “normal” times in life. Now is a time for tenderheartedness to shine forth and bright. This isn’t hard. Here is a simple suggestion to show your tender heart. Do a kind act for a person you don’t know. Simple, right? Go on, you can do this!

This is a time for compassion. In Canada I can think of only one leader in the public eye who exemplifies compassion. Her name is Dr. Bonnie Henry, and she is the Chief Medical Officer for the province of British Columbia (BC). Until the Coronavirus leered its ugly face, I never heard of Dr. Bonnie. She now makes daily and accurate announcements about Covid-19 to the people of B.C. through TV and radio. 

In June 2020, Dr. Bonnie mentioned the number of people in British Columbia who died from substance abuse during the early part of the Covid crisis. She showed the emotional side of a medical professional who has a genuine compassion for people. 

A person like Dr. Bonnie is not without her critics. Perhaps this shows there is a price to pay for genuine compassion. Perhaps this level of compassion is rare today and people don’t know how to respond to it. My critics are not too far away either, therefore it doesn’t surprise me people criticize Dr. Bonnie Henry. My purpose here is not to judge Dr. Bonnie’s critics. I think this point of not judging is more in keeping with compassion.

This is a time for transparency and vulnerability. The beginning of this blog post includes a dedication to a special person in my life. For the sake of this message, I call her Nurse Candi. Nurse Candi is a friend to my wife and I. She is also a Registered Nurse. On top of all this greatness, she is my Covid-19 teacher. She keeps me informed on matters related to Covid I would otherwise miss.

My wife and I have known Nurse Candi for many years. We lost contact with each other for a time, but we are now in regular communication with each other.

One thing I love about Nurse Candi is her transparency and vulnerability. This is a measure of her strength. She has experienced her share of sadness and hardship. Nurse Candi exemplifies a Scarred Joy life. This is a life devoted to living a full life despite grief and hardship. Nurse Candi has never lost her sweet demeanour and heart for people. I’m a blessed man to have her in my life. With people like Nurse Candi in life there will always be hope.

Vulnerable people know others can easily hurt them. They will put themselves out for other people, despite the possibility of harm. They may not always understand this about themselves, for they are living as they were born to be. Vulnerable people are also often transparent. 

To be transparent and vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. In my life, Nurse Candi exemplifies this welcome human characteristic. I never have to guess at what she thinks about a particular matter about Covid or life. Do we agree on all matters in life? I doubt it, but that doesn’t matter either. She is not one who will pout and stamp her feet, then walk away if we disagree on something. This trait is rare and remarkable in this present time in history. This is also another reason I love Nurse Candi. 

In the grander scheme of things, my voice is minimal and of no significance. This does not stop me from believing our culture needs compassionate people unafraid to admit they are but mortal. The time in which we live is also a time for transparent and vulnerable people. The world has enough phoniness, power mongers, and weak leaders at the best of times. Now is a time for us all as a collective unit to show we care for each other. Let us allow those who are compassionate, vulnerable and transparent show us how.

Like genuine compassion, transparency and vulnerability are qualities the world needs at all times. I may never meet Dr. Bonnie Henry, but I have Nurse Candi in my life and that’s fine with me. Do you have a Nurse Candi in your life? If you do thank God for her. Bask in the warmth of her compassion and give thanks for the gift she is to your life. I know I do.