I Have a Dream

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Part of me just wants to wake up be in January 2022. I am pretty certain we will be past all of this nonsense by then. Hey, if we get through this sooner, even better. But, I need to have a goal in my mind's eye. January of 2022 seems to be a reasonable 'end'-ish to me. So, if that is the case, what will the next year and a half look like to us? I keep hearing of people still hiding out in quarantine. I am worried about the PTSD from this.

As we crossed the bay bridge, headed for our family getaway this weekend, we talked about all the jumpers. Since the quarantine there have been so many every month. I struggled to find detailed stories of the people who have thought this was their only way out. I couldn't find many stories on them at all. The news has been busy reporting other stuff. I worry for the mental health of those who are being affected.

I know there is not a great solution. Forgive me for always talking about Covid-19. My heart hurts for the world. Thankfully, I am working from home like I always have. Yes, I clean like crazy, but I see people and that makes my heart whole.

My point is this, if we are going to be in this for another year and a half, I think there needs to be preparations made for the mental health of those who have not been in contact with people. Whether it be because of health issues, or those who work from home and live alone, or other things that have caused them to remain isolated.

I have always said, if there was a presidential candidate who made mental health a main priority in our country, I would vote for them no matter what their affiliation. Even before this thing hit, we were lacking a sense of community. I think a sense of belonging has been a problem for our country as a whole. If our communities fostered camaraderie and we had a way of bonding on a regular basis, there would be less things to fight about. There are ways to do it. I have seen it in other countries. Why don't our parks have artists perform *every* weekend? I am sure bands would love to promote themselves for free. There would be a long list of people dying to perform. Food trucks and other local artist's booths could also set up as well in each and every neighborhood.

If music and dancing were there every weekend, people would go! It seems to me, our country only fosters shopping and eating. We need something that lifts our spirits. We need something that gives us a reason to gather. If we do go out to eat, what else is there afterwards? A movie or a show? While in a theater, we can't always bond. Especially not with a group of our neighbors.

When we get out of this, it will be time for change. I would love Americans to feel like they belong and are united in their neighborhoods. With a sense of belonging, mental health will improve. I know some neighborhoods may have this now, but it isn't part of the culture in America as a whole. I would love to see the Parks and Rec help make that a priority for the mental health of our communities. Uplifting people through the arts is a great start while promoting local artists.

So, when we can freely gather again, this is a great way to get started because it is outside. I think the people who have been inside their homes will feel happy to venture out to the park on the corner, and listen to some music every Friday or Saturday night, and dance if they want to. This is my dream, now I need to make it a reality!

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