When I was little and making a huge deal over finishing my dinner sometimes my mum, out of sheer desperation would say to me “clear your plate- there’s people starving in Ethiopia.” And she was right- there absolutely were and; that absolutely did not mean that my stomach suddenly became able to manage the mound of mash remaining on my plate- we were different people in different places having a different life experience.

Now, a similar thing is happening with Sam Smith and Captain Tom Moore. Because one is doing one thing – absolutely bloody brilliantly by the way- the other is being shamed and criticised for the way that he is feeling and coping.

There is no need to compare, there is no need to shame, they are two different people, from different places having different experiences within a pandemic.

Lets unpick this a little shall we?

Captain Moore has faced serious and significant crises in his life prior to this- he is a war veteran, he has been widowed, perhaps those experiences amongst many others, have given him the tools to cope when faced with the current circumstances? Perhaps…

Captain Tom Moore is living with his extended family and they are isolating together- he is surrounded by the love and support of his family whilst also seeing and hearing the admiration and support from those whom he doesn’t know but who are showering with buckets of much deserved praise.

Captain Tom Moore is 99 – he has lived a life and has a wealth of experiences to draw upon and, maybe for him, coming out of hospital following an operation at his advanced years every day is an amazing bonus that was not guaranteed.

I don’t know…I don’t know him and I don’t know Sam Smith so…who am I to judge and second guess?!

On 15th of February a whole #bekind movement was kicked off following the death of another celebrity that had been both praised and persecuted. The media was blamed, social channels were criticised but people were some what slower to look at their own behaviour opting for petitions to prevent paparazzi behaving in a certain way…

The truth is this- we are all individuals trying our best to cope in an really unpleasant and unexpected situation.

Things will be perceived as easier or harder, better or worse for some people- but the truth is this:

WE DON’T KNOW how other people are feeling unless they are brave enough to open up and share

WE DON’T KNOW what tools people have mentally and emotionally to cope in this situation

WE DON’T KNOW whether we are doing it right or wrong because all of this is new and weird and strange and scary for all of us.

But, what I do know is this:

You can choose to be kind

You can choose to try to see things from another point of view

You can choose to reach out to see how others are doing rather than presuming and picking holes.

Please lets all choose to be kind and, if you can’t be kind be quiet (and maybe think about why other peoples reactions is causing such a problem for you….)

Lots of love,

Tan. XxxX

PS- this is 100% not me suggesting that we are ‘all in this together’ I am extremely aware that some groups will be significantly more affected by the impact of Covid-19 than many others. I know that the weakest, poorest and most vulnerable will bear more of the brunt and I am not ok with that but that does not mean that everyone else is having a walk in the park. xxx

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