It’s easy to understand why there has been little mentioned about Christmas recently. Normally we would be starting to be overrun with adverts on TV, promising us the best Christmas ever if we just buy certain products. Not so as yet this year. There are good reasons for this of course. I am not a religious man but it seems to me that ‘The Season Of Goodwill To All Men’ is as apt this year as ever, if not more so.
One of the tenets of most religions, if not all, is to be kind to each other, help those less fortunate than ourselves and act in a way that has a positive effect on those around us. This is something that I tried to live my life by. I will add the caveat that I have not always been successful, but I try! I like to think that most other people are similar and in my experience, if you are kind to others, it is reciprocated.
Now, more than ever, we need these kinds of values. Our world has been tipped upside down. Our businesses are under threat, our jobs too. Children’s education is being affected and families are having to adapt to these massive changes. We cannot see some of the ones we love. On a personal note, I have not been able to see my mum in the nursing home since February this year. She is 91 and has dementia. I call her regularly but I worry that when I can actually see her again, she will not recognise me. However, I dare not risk taking the virus into the home, despite best practice and social distancing. It is hard. very hard!
What I try to remember is that the whole world is affected, not just my admittedly small circle of life. It is hard to believe how much the world has changed in such a small space of time. This has indeed become ‘The New Normal’.
Now it might seem that I am starting to feel depressed by the current crisis. Nothing could be further from the case. Like everyone, I have days where I wonder where, and when, this will all end. However, they are rare. I have a massive belief in the human spirit.
What lifts my spirit more than anything else is seeing our local shops and businesses working hard to help our community to live as normally as possible. Their customers showing patience and taking social distancing seriously. These businesses are experiencing a total paradigm shift and are still finding ways to deliver a great experience for their customers.
We tend to forget how lucky we are in Bare. We have a great community with a terrific spirit. We can walk, run or cycle down our lovely promenade. Meander round our fabulous park. Marvel at the sunsets that we are so blessed with and watch the wildlife throughout the year. Just about everything we need is available locally.
Our community is filled with wonderful people, of all ages, who will respond cheerfully to a smile or a greeting. People who are caring and considerate. This is so important in a time like this. A smile and a cheery ‘good morning’ might just make somebody’s day. For some, it might be the only contact they get that day. Small things make a massive difference.
So, as we head into the festive season, spare a thought for your neighbours. Are they doing OK? Do they need anything from the shops, that kind of thing. I have found that we have spoken to our neighbours more than ever during the crisis. Have a little chat with them over the fence (suitably distanced obviously). Get to know them a little better.
By doing these simple things, we increase our sense of community and friendship. This is what will bring us through this uncertain time. Bare has the lowest number of cases in Lancashire and I like to think that is because we have a community and we care about each other.
As an Association, we try to come up with as many ways as possible to keep everyone in touch. Marisa’s monthly newsletter for members is a delight and something to look forward to! The upcoming Pumpkin Trail is a way of making halloween fun but safe for all. We are always looking for new ways of helping in our community, so if you think of anything, please let us know.
In conclusion, I am proud to live in Bare. We live in such a wonderful area, full of wonderful people. Let’s care for each other, keep cheerful and be positive. There are so many good things in life and most of them are free!