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That’s the spirit

Opinion

That’s the spirit

There is lots of kindness in our community, writes Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane, who is heartened to see plenty of light in these dark times.

There is no doubt these are interesting times. I am well aware this is putting it mildly. My heart goes out to those who have had their health or livelihoods impacted by covid-19.

I must admit I was unsettled when we first heard about the virus. I was worried about what our future would look like if we as a community were standing firmly in an ‘every man for himself’ mentality.

It was so far removed from the Sunshine Coast community I know and love and it shook me to the core to see this happening. But even though I have been self-isolating with my two children for three weeks now, I have been heartened to see the true spirit of the Coast starting to shine through.

Children’s birthdays are being marked with drive-by visitors singing and waving out of their car windows, online events are encouraging us to get out in the fresh air to adorn our driveways with beautiful chalk designs, successful business owners are offering free mentoring and coaching to people who are feeling at a loss, and people are reaching to offer emotional support over the phone or via video calls.

I am so pleased to see that even though we still have a period of uncertainty ahead of us, we have returned back to our default setting of compassion and kindness. Long may it continue.

I want to give a huge shout out to our emergency service and health care workers. To the supermarket workers who continue to stock the shelves and ensure we have fresh food to purchase when we need it. To the businesses who are continuing to operate to serve the needs of our community and to every single person who has had to grin and bear it when copping some undeserved abuse.

Don’t forget that kindness is free. Whether it’s offering to split a package of toilet paper with someone who missed out when the shelves were re-stocked, giving your neighbour a friendly wave on your way to the letterbox or calling a friend or relative just to check in and see how they are doing, it might not seem significant to you, but these simple acts of kindness could potentially turn someone’s entire day around.

At the end of the day, we are all in this together and if we can navigate these unchartered waters in one large ship, we have a much greater chance of success than we would if we are all paddling frantically in our own tiny life rings.

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Roxy has been a journalist for more than a decade and joined the MWP team at the end of 2016. She is a chocolate-powered writing machine who loves to engage with the Coast community, uncover untold inspirational stories and share information that can help people.

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