Editor: We have experienced the most significant event in our lives. This was the first occurrence that affected ALL of us concurrently.

It did not affect us evenhandedly, but we all felt it in an enormous capacity.

It locked us down, masked us up, and created a chasm among us as large as the Grand Canyon.

Weddings and graduations were canceled. Sickness and death happened alone. Children missed milestones while parents worried about the effects of misplaced rites of passage.

The workplace gave birth to The Great Resignation, as employees wrestled feelings of exhaustion, not being valued, and poor mental health.

As the world attempted to open up, we learned brutal lessons, produced new variants, and the fissure grew wider.

We focused more on our differences than the similarity that we were all battered and bruised from so much loss.

It’s time to heal. We need to recognize that we have people we love, want them to be healthy, and we all want to be happy. Everything outside of that is secondary.

Move forward in kindness. Replace hate with praise. Practice acceptance over resistance. See parallels instead of deviation. Remember, we are all human.

Our futures depend on it.

Lyssa Ireland Thomas

Orange Park, Florida

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