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The World Just May Be Getting Some of the Love It Needs

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

The last couple of weeks have been, well, a little bit of everything: lazy, sad, anxiety-ridden, chaotic, unclear. Through it all I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. On one of our daily social distancing walks, my mom and I realized that every person, family or car we passed smiled and waved. 

Maybe it’s the New Yorker in us, but typically people don’t always engage when you walk by; and cars certainly don’t always slow down for a greeting. However, I got the sense that people are so happy to see each other and eager to make a connection. It’s almost as if people are happy to see you out and well.

This is just my personal, microcosmic experience of what I think is happening around the world: an incredible resurgence in humanity. An outpouring of love, kindness, understanding and support offered freely to all those who need it. 

Today I cried as I scrolled through Instagram and watched a video of a widowed grandpa sitting on the curb as his family drove by with signs and open windows reminding him of how much they loved him. I continued crying when I watched a husband speak to his wife through the nursing home window. The wife is quarantined in a memory center due to her Alheizmer’s and my heart broke as she cried in her confusion that she just wanted to come out and see her husband. “But I love you,” she replied in response to not being able to leave her room. Her husband sat out there patiently, replying that he loved her too and explaining again that they had to remain separated to ensure that everyone stayed healthy. I cried for the separation and isolation so many must be feeling, but I also cried as I was struck by the beautiful demonstrations of love and the creative ways people are working to share joy and stay connected. 

So I’m trying to remember these acts. I’ve read articles on getting motivated, on staying productive, and I turn on the news to see frightening virus numbers continuing to rise. I feel like most days I could easily choose to waste the day away in bed, in order to escape or just avoid the reality of the situation. Still, every morning I get to make the decision for what the day will be. I gave myself time to wallow, to grieve for the life I didn’t fully recognize I was so happy to be living until it was essentially canceled. 

The thing propelling me to stay positive and inspiring me to live each day with a grateful mindset and a spirit of kindness are these incredible acts of humanity, those big and small. 

Luxury brands have ceased normal production on perfumes and are instead using their supplies to make sanitizer for hospitals. Other fashion houses are sewing masks for healthcare workers. Restaurants are donating food to hospital workers and others in need when they can barely stay afloat themselves. There seems to be this prioritizing of human need over financial gain—of decency and kindness over selfishness—that I have never seen before in my lifetime. I can’t help but feel like there’s a necessary reboot of sorts hidden in all of the chaos.

Sure, there are people fighting over toilet paper and people still going out unnecessarily and without regard to the danger this poses to others. But I am overwhelmingly seeing goodness win out over selfishness in the way people are treating each other. I hope that we can remember this. I hope that we can remember how to act this way, that we can continue to show kindness and be aware of what’s really important. I hope we can remember to recognize the small things to be thankful for and show gratitude for the many sacrificing so much. I think that we will come out of this better than we were before when it finally ends, and it will end. Until then, I promise to remember to be kind and do my small part to put love into the world. We cannot afford for it to be the thing there is just too little of. 

Emma Koster

Notre Dame '22

Hi! My name is Emma and I'm a junior at the University of Notre Dame. I'm so excited to be studying psychology, journalism, and digital marketing here at ND! In my free time I love to read, eat yummy snacks, and hang out with friends.