[178] Hope in Times of Corona – Shark !

They are wilder than normally. They come up really close to the boat, then swim away fast and furious. Come up again, watch us in the eyes, dive deep and rapidly. What’s going on?

The kayaks are laying still now. We paddled fair a bit to get to the bay, and now we are watching the wildlife around us. An eagle circles over our heads, some sting rays cruise under the water surface, and the heads of the turtles go up and under the water surface.

Still, something seems to be going on. They seem to be restless. Normally they are cruising peacefully, going up and down to get some fresh air, oxygenate their lungs and bodies, before retaking their way. Today, after popping up, they continue rapidly their road, splashing up the water, and creating a long wave, like I thought only a whale tale good do so.

One comes really close, watches me uncomfortable long in the eyes, before it dives under again. What is going on?

Another turtle comes up really close at my friend’s kayak, he starts immediately to paddle back in my direction. ‘Let’s get out of here!’ he yells, ‘Shark!’

Our Own Shark

We paddle fast, away of where the tiger shark was chasing the turtle. Now I get it, now I see why the turtles where so restless and agitated. Wouldn’t we all, if a shark was chasing us?

We might not be turtles and not be chased by sharks; but in the end, we might all act as the turtle at a certain moment; especially in times of Corona; even though we don’t see others’ shark.

Corona has created uncertain times, with a lot of change, and heaps of potential ‘sharks’. One might have lost their job, one might miss friends or family, one might be afraid of the future, or afraid of the virus itself, one might be more tiered and less inspired than otherwise, one might just be struggling; high-likely everyone is fighting their battle with their sharks. Some small, some bigger; some continuous, some momentaneous; some harmless and playful, some threatening and dangerous.

Our Own Turtle

When it comes to our feelings and thoughts, we are more or less are like the turtle. Only a part of it is visible for others, that part is our behaviour and what we chose to express and share. This is only a part of the entire game at play.

The people around us are like the kayaks. They only see what we expose to them. They might see us struggling, restless and agitated, but they don’t know why. They don’t see the shark; they don’t see what is chasing us; they don’t see the severity of the struggle.

We might be like the one turtle that came up to me, willing to ask for help, but not finding the words, not the way, so we dive under again, helpless and lost. We might be like the bigger turtle, jumping out of the water, nearly flipping the kayak, projecting the own fear and fury on the kayak that has nothing to do with it, yet is the closest.

Under the Water

In Times of Corona we are all confronted with one another more than in other circumstances; we became distant of a lot of people, and extremely close to a few. They are the kayaks circling around us, at the same time as the turtles.

We all have our sharks, even though we might not be able to see the ones of the others, nor be able to show ours. Still, we only see as much as we can see, which is but the part that reaches above the water. When someone acts in a certain way, we not always see the shark.

Often, people who act difficult, are people in difficulties. Same goes for the turtle, who are harmless and peaceful animals as such, but when a shark comes up, they are forced to act in a certain way to protect their lives.

Safety First

Don’t attack the turtle, be compassionate, be understanding, try to listen even if you don’t speak the same language; try to understand, even if you don’t see the shark; and moreover, provide the safe-haven, where it is ok to be afraid, to fight the struggle, once the shark is beaten, the peace will return.

On the other hand, if you feel like a shark is chasing you. Distinguish kayak from shark; distinguish the threatening versus the potential helping actors around you. Look for help to fight the shark at the most decent and less harmful way; and let the kayak know where you’re up to.

Don’t attack the kayak if they are not the cause of your problem; they just turn out to be really close to you now. They might not behave as you want to, because they only see as much as you show. They only see what is above the water, they don’t see the shark, unless you show them.

Safe and Happy

Be safe and happy in times of Corona, by knowing which position you take in this story, depending on the situation. Be understanding, patience, and conscious of the rich and complex under-water world when you are in the kayak.

Be kind to yourself and to the kayak when you are the turtle, acknowledge your sharks, don’t feed him, but look for help to beat him, by letting your kayaks know where you are up to. And last of all, don’t be the shark. Not even your own shark.

Times of Corona ask for understanding, patience and compassion; this is your chance to practice. We are all in this together, we are all once in a while in the kayak, or under water chased by sharks; so let’s help each other out, let’s be compassionate, caring, and be vigilant for sharks; let’s stay safe and happy, we’ll get there.

This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.

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