Circle of Care

Wednesday, April 8 2020

Okay, most of us have got the message. Mother Nature has sent us all to our rooms to think about our actions. The world seems to have been stopped in its tracks. But, of course, it is just human activity that has been tripped up. And we have all had time to reflect on our lives, our priorities, our busy lives. We have also grasped that we are in this sobering situation for a longer haul than we thought possible.

The next step is action. The various levels of government here and elsewhere have been making tough decisions and plans encompassing much of society, health, medical, economic, travel, etc. We have seen the local appeals to support local businesses as much as possible...order that take-out food, give to local charities. That was Step One.

We live in a small community. Much of the basis of our community are the businesses and services that allow us to live the comfortable lives that many of us take for granted. Behind these businesses and services are individuals and families who often have ‘paid it forward’ into the community, sometimes for years. 

In spite of all the government supports going in, subsidies for salaries, interest-free loans for businesses, these do not necessarily provide an answer for the owners/operators of those businesses, other than taking on more debt, however interest-reduced/free that debt might be. Some of these foundations to our community life will not survive this unprecedented economic blow. The reality is that 85 per cent of employment in this country is provided by small businesses. If we want our community to pull through this intact, now is the time to consider what our individual responsibility is to ensure that happens. That is Step Two.

The needed action now is expanding our own personal concepts of Circle of Care. Who do we feel personally grateful for, what local businesses, local service providers have improved the quality of our lives and how many of those are suffering and may face economic devastation. Government action is not going to cover it all. No individual, no business owner, could be expected to be prepared for this current cataclysmic economic upheaval. Anyone with the financial wherewithal to broaden their Circle of Care needs to consider their responsibility to the broader community now.

You are not being asked to give. You are being challenged to give back. Give back to the small local business owners who have often spent years paying it forward, asking nothing in return. Consider a donation for services provided to the community. Any amount would be appreciated, larger amounts are needed. Consider what indulgences you would have provided yourselves with if times were as usual. Those flights, those cruises, those toys, those frivolous expenditures. People that you should care about are suffering. Look around the community. Who might that be? That restaurant owner, that service provider, hey, that local newspaper that has arrived free in our mailboxes every week of the year. What would life here be like if those people, those families, would not be able to remain here, providing those valued amenities to our community and being important members of the community. Sometimes we have to be the solution. Ask nothing (more) in return. Think about it.

(Yes, I have taken this step myself this week, more than once. It is much needed and even more appreciated.).

~ Carol Hemrich