Are we prepared to endure a crisis? 

For some, being prepared means stockpiling toilet paper (I still don’t get it) and hand-sanitizer.

Others, are prepared to protect their own by stocking up on ammunition.

While others, buy only enough to keep their family fed, clean, and safe.

Whatever level of preparedness, or however someone chooses to prepare, we can try to respect it. Admittedly, this can be challenging (almost impossible) when you see someone filling their shopping cart with every last loaf of bread, cleaning products, or canned tuna, leaving nothing for anyone else.

A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.”    Desmond Tutu

My dear Californians, aren’t we already supposed to be prepared with all the essentials in case of an earthquake? If we were, the supermarket shelves wouldn’t be as bare, the line out the door wouldn’t be as long, and there would be toilet paper for all.

Here are a few ways to help keep your relationships healthy in a time of crisis: 

  1. “You do you.” Another way of putting it is, mind your business. Your decisions fit your life and circumstances, not necessarily someone else’s.
  2. “I’m a hugger.” For those of you who insist that a greeting is not a greeting unless you hug or shake hands, you’re going to have to adjust. It is imperative to be respectful that many, probably most people are implementing a “social distancing” policy. Don’t get your feelings hurt if someone declines to shake your hand or get near you. It’s their body, their health, their choice.
  3. Expressing concern is different than expressing your opinion or imposing your way. Consider the reverse. While your intention may be genuine, not everyone is open to being told what to do, forced to follow your advice, or tolde with whom to be angry with.
  4. Everyone handles a crisis differently. If someone is feeling down or scared, accept it and either say something positive or something like, “I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling this way, is there anything I can do to help?” Telling them it’ll all be fine or joking about their state of mind is not helpful, is not nice, and will make them hate you (at least temporarily.)
  5. Not all people share their feelings. Someone who comes across as cool, calm, and collected, may very well be. Or maybe they prefer to do their worrying behind closed doors. So don’t lecture them on how they should be scared or worried.
  6. If you’re going to the market, ask your elderly neighbor, parent with young children, or friend if you can pick something up for them. This helps reduce the number of people in public. Don’t judge their choices. Ice cream gets some people through tough times.

Being nice, polite, patient, and considerate is easy when things are going our way. But in times of crisis or inconvenience can we maintain our dignity, integrity, and consideration of others?

After the last big crisis in our country, we were united, kindness was the norm, and people were just people helping one another. So we are capable and shouldn’t need a crisis to remind us of how strong, resilient, and kind-hearted we are as a society.

 In times of crisis, it is of utmost importance to keep one’s head.    Marie Antoinette

Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Etiquette and Civility Expert, Media Source, Actor “extra”