They say situations like these show people for who they are, bringing out the best in people and the very, very worst in others.
Take for example Cramlington Sweets and Treats, who over-stickered price marked packs of Andrex. The packs were marked as £2.50 for four rolls of toilet paper, and this vulture wanted £5 a pack! Another example could be Mike Ashley, Tim Martin, Britannia Hotels, Virgin Airways… all either being opportunists trying to keep businesses open despite government rulings, or sacking people because they can’t or won’t pay them.
Then there are the other people. Freema from Community School Clothing Scheme was barely recovered from her tangle with COVID-19 and she was back to her calling of supporting families in the most desperate of situations. Ross Thompson who started Isolation Help Northumberland, so people can advise and assist others in need during the lockdown. Ian Herron and the team at ENGAGE, distributing food parcels to people who need them. The frontline NHS workers, the police, the social workers, those working in food supply, and every other key worker who is busting a gut to keep this country going – you have my utmost respect, each and every one of you!
It can be a true test of self and of your character when faced with times like this, and I myself have found it immensely challenging to be my most authentic self. I feign bravery, when inside I am terrified. I make jokes, when secretly I could cry and never stop.
Being vulnerable and admitting to vulnerability at times like this could be seen as a sign of weakness. After all, we Brits are expected to Keep Calm and Carry On, with our Stiff Upper Lips in tow. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In order to protect our mental health, it is essential we are open and honest about how we feel, so we can all look after our friends and family from a socially safe distance of two metres. That doesn’t mean we have to break down either. Being courageous and strong is allowed, if that is genuinely how you feel. These kinds of situations can get the adrenaline pumping and will inspire some of us to step up out of our comfort zone and be the change the world wants to see. The world needs every kind of person to continue to grow and be a good place.
If you feel like you are not living your most authentically, ask yourself the following:
- When are you most yourself?
- Are you being open and honest with yourself and those around you?
- If you are, what gives you courage? If you aren’t, what stops you from being authentic and honest?
- How do you think you would feel if you could walk through your life being your truest version of yourself, every minute of every day?
It really helps to unpick what is holding you back. I had coaching to help me to do that, from my lovely friend Anna Knight, qualified women’s coach and speech therapist specialising in Autism (a handy thing when it comes to supporting me with my little boy!). Since the coaching I can honestly say I feel 100% better than I did six months ago when I started my transformational journey of discovering and being my authentic self.
I read somewhere today that people should not see the empty streets as the apocalypse or the end of the world, but rather they should see it as LOVE IN ACTION. People are staying home because of love for each other, for mankind, for our families and friends, for the elderly and for the vulnerable.
My point is this: be who you are, be your best, most authentic self, and live your truth, even if the world feels like it is on fire. As my wise friend in Australia reminded me this morning – this too shall pass.
Help us keep the lights on during the pandemic at http://www.paypal.me/WardOTStreet. Half of everything will go towards Random Acts of Kindness for the vulnerable people in our area.