Erin's Journals

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Just a thought…

My wish for you
Is that you continue


To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness.

[Maya Angelou]

Here’s to the kindness that is bubbling to the surface of the murky waters we’re all treading these days. I am overdue, but this journal is one that I’ve been compiling for days.

I’ll save the best ’til last, but read on, and if there’s anyone you feel should be thanked – because I’m sure to miss someone – please add your contribution at Other than that, these are not ranked in any kind of order.

Here goes:

Thanks to Kevin Frankish, BT alumnus for inviting me to share an hour with him yesterday. I couldn’t believe how quickly the time passed and I promise it will for you, too. Enjoy: here’s the link


Now to the folks out there with REAL jobs. I’m talking about the lesser-profile heroes: the people working in grocery stores stocking shelves (including my teenaged niece in Kelowna) and facing people at their worst.

We read that our regular grocery store back in Palm Springs has had plexiglass installed to protect cashiers after one actually got spit on. I can’t even form in my mind any kind of scenario where that could have unfolded. Did someone get called out for buying 18 of something and clearing the shelves? What would make anyone do that?

What’s next: bulletproof glass? Because so many people are armed, and the gun and ammo stores are having their best months in business since someone told them Obama was “coming for there guns.” (Note: Yes, I deliberately used the wrong word!)

I’m thinking of the drivers of trucks, courier and food delivery vehicles and transit of all kinds – from flight crews to cabbies – who are out there trying to make sure people get what they need, and where they absolutely have to be. They’re the ones making sure those shelves stay stocked, until the selfish hoarders fill their carts to the brim and beyond, leaving the rest of us with nothing.

My heart goes out to the members of the media who are working long hours, and putting their own health on the line, to make sure we get the information we need during these tumultuous times.

There’s a lot of mistruth out there and it’s up to us – more than ever – to be discerning about how much and just what we take in and digest. But we can always find a source we trust that will help us to understand and to use that information as power.

These people, the ones who consider what they do a calling more than a job, are working hard to bring it to us and they deserve our gratitude, instead of the constant grenades people throw at “the media” for delivering news they don’t want to hear. Most – not all (looking at FOX, Rush Limbaugh and that putrid lot) – but most are trying to help us to stay safe and to be prepared and informed.

On a related note, thank you to the everyday radio and television people who are doing their jobs, striving to keep a semblance of normalcy, trying to balance the gravity of the day-to-day with humour and sensitivity. The government of Ontario may put them at the very bottom of their list of essential services, but they’re up near the top for people who want to feel connected and informed.

The engineers, the producers and the people whose names you don’t hear or read in the credits: they’re making these miraculous connections possible. (I did it for three months back in 1991 and it made headlines then; who knew that one day everyone would be doing their shows in their bathrobes – or was that just me?)

I would do just about anything to be part of that team right now, being a “helper” if I could. But it’s just not in the cards…

…and letters: thank you to the postal workers and couriers who carry on with their jobs, keeping the mail running and the precious packages coming.

To the ordinary folks who are calling “just to check in,” to volunteers who are doing what they can to help neighbours who are isolating, to those who are risking unpopularity by calling out stupidity and trying to bring attention to the ignorance of others who are endangering the rest of us.

To the police for enforcing rules when those stories of dangerous indifference (large gatherings) are everywhere. To the keepers of order in uncertain times, we thank you.

To the cleaners: the ones following our collective trail and spraying and wiping like our lives depend upon it. Because they do. I hope they know that their work is appreciated. To the restaurant workers who make sure we’re still getting our meals and the farmers whose work brings us that food.

To the Prime Minister for talking to us daily and delivering messages we need to hear and heed. For taking the time to directly address children, helping them to understand what our country, its people – their families – are going through, and need from them. Talking to them on their level; treating them with respect.

To other civic leaders – the mayors and premiers who take the weight of their positions and responsibility for our well-being seriously. And to the people who have put aside their usual political hatred or distaste just to be civil and to cooperate, including those in differing parties who are working together for the greater good. We need only turn on the TV to an American channel or look online to see just how good we actually have it.

It’s time we noticed it. All of us.

Thank you to the people who have earned high-profile platforms and use them for good – people like @ArleneDickinson, @JannArden, @LisaSLisson on Twitter, to name a few outstanding Canadian women – and who are trying to make our increasingly unsteady world just a little better with their wisdom, heart and inspiration.

And finally, a heartfelt shout of gratitude to anyone in health care today. They’re the moms and dads, sisters (like my own, Leslie) and brothers, sons and daughters who run towards the sick and give care instead of sheltering away from them with their own loved ones. The people easing pain, taking temperatures, saving lives and getting us through this pandemic – one mask, one thermometer, one answered call and question, and one swab at a time.

Every single one of them is a hero. You have always had our respect and gratitude, but never more so and in greater waves than right now. When the world has stopped wobbling on its axis and we can breathe freely again, I hope that we’ll all remember who was there for us.

These are the people on the front line putting themselves in harm’s way. For us. No matter for whom we cast a ballot, whom we worship, what colour our skin is, or even how carelessly we’ve treated our bodies over the years, and the past weeks. They’re here for us.

My gratitude – our gratitude – knows no bounds.

I’ll be back with you here tomorrow with a fun piece directly from my hairdresser to you.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, March 26, 2020