During the current pandemic we’ve had to be especially diligent on a few things at The Dale, with social distancing and other safety measures being prominent in everything that we do. As best we can given the restrictions in place for everyone’s safety, we have endeavoured to keep as close contact with as many people as we can. On some level, I think we’ve all suffered from the side-effects of social distancing.
(That’s not to say that I think we should ignore the government protocols that are in place, but it is a recognition that due to our time apart from the people we love, the activities we enjoy, and everything else that has kept us apart over the past several months it is every bit important now that we are able to connect in some meaningful way).
This past week I had the opportunity to speak to a gentleman from our neighbourhood in Parkdale. It was a somewhat rare opportunity to chat with someone at length and in that way it was refreshing. It was also difficult to hear from him that, even apart from the pandemic, he lives a solitary life due to his dis-trust of others. “Friends aren’t real” he said. “They’re only friends until they ask you for something… I don’t have any reason to get up in the morning. All I do is wake up and walk around.”
Hearing stuff like this just breaks my heart because I know it stems from past experiences and those experiences so often seem to hold power over how we live in the present.
My mission, in that moment, was simply to offer an example of what friendship can look like and attempt to establish a modicum of trust.
I suppose it was an expression of hope that it doesn’t have to be this way – not for him, not for anybody.
So we’ll keep on being diligent in terms of doing our part to preserve everyone’s physical health during the current pandemic, but we also continue to find ways to care for the emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of those in our midst. We really can’t do otherwise.
I’m a Community Worker at The Dale Ministries – we seek to empower those experiencing poverty of spirit or space. We have little, but give and share what we have. As part of this labour of love, I seek to raise 100% of my salary to continue in this work. If you’d like to donate, please click this direct link https://www.thedale.org/donate/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.