acceptance, of bridging the gap, of taking the time to understand the importance of being kind, helping others.

Those are really wonderful things but underneath it all, and the fact that all this needs said, is the vein of truth that there are separate areas: The area of those who live with or have special needs and the area of those who do not.

And while these posts and actions touch our hearts and teach many points. I think one point is not addressed and it is how one action done or not done affects others. Sometimes it is a single person affected, other times it can be a group. The underlying and most understated but truly biggest issue is that what we do or don’t do has a ripple effect.

When Elizabeth was growing up and showing outward signs of her SPD( Sensory Processing Disorder) and global dyspraxia, EVERYWHERE we went, to EVERYONE we saw and EVERYTIME she was in a new situation, I can say that I felt the divide. Not so much in a negative way ( although many people who did not understand would watch in disapproval) but in a way that made me see just how far from the other side we were, like when someone went out of their way to be extra nice or help her calm down.

And those who took extra time to be kind or try to understand made this choice, which made a difference for me, Elizabeth ,the moment of stress we were in but also affected the rest of our day and potentially the evening as well.

A ripple effect.

After all, we are all in this thing called life together.

Never has that lesson been learned more than in the past 8 months that have made up the time of COVID-19. While starting out as a virus that made us pull away from each other, be quarantined and literally stand 6 feet apart for EVERYTHING, it has somehow made us aware of just how linked we really are to each other…socially distanced or not.

What I do today can literally affect you tomorrow.

What you do in a week can trickle down to some person who was near you in a store two days later.

We cannot anymore see ourselves as these private entities, where we can do what we want, as we want and as much as we want without the resulting effect on others.

There are no longer groups that are separate, rather we are all together.

I thought about these things this week as I was rereading some words I wrote, a few years ago, about Elizabeth, when she was young.

Maybe this new understanding of just how much our own actions affect others will be one that remains long after the vaccines have done their job. We can remember that what we do can and does affect those around us.

In helping each other, understanding each other and taking care of each other will make the need to bridge gaps unnecessary. One thing really does lead to another and another.

Just some thoughts!
I wish everyone a safe week. Please wear a mask!

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You”

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