By Michael Davis II
“Social distancing NOT emotional distancing!” That’s what we as a global human race need to remember. Many of us have been “emotionally distancing” from others our entire lives. Yet this recent call to action on “social distancing” with COVID-19 is alarming? Is physical proximity and touch more important/vital than emotional proximity?
The homeless person you walked past downtown with a vague side-eyed glance. Is that person in need of a touch? Or more importantly is that homeless person more in need of an acknowledgement that he/she exists? A “morning” or “hello,’’ not a dismissal of their existence. I have and continue to be uncomfortable around the idea that people are homeless, isolated and without meaningful discourse.
This isn’t about homeless people and how we as a society mostly ignore them. This is about “emotional distancing.” As this is an honest conversation between us, I have to admit I’m guilty. I have practiced “emotional distancing” for periods of my life. I can’t speak for you, but for me that was a “safe guard” I thought necessary for my heart during those times, or it was something I did in the office at work as to not connect with the people in my department that I managed.
Six feet apart is what is recommended for this virus. That’s a physical thing, not an emotional thing. So my ask of you this time is to allow yourself to let one person within that six feet of emotional barrier you have had for years. Not just your “bestie” or your “bruh,’’ but someone who deserves it that you haven’t let in. Roll the dice, because at this point what we have now with the current pandemic isn’t distance between each other, it’s the emotional closeness we have with everyone. Think about it. We’ll talk again soon…