Not in the Same Boat

I can’t get this thought out of my mind. I read it somewhere I think. We may all be on the same storm, but we’re not in the same boat. With so many critically important things going on in the world lately, it keeps coming back to me like the song that you hear and can’t get out of your head for the rest of the day. I happily work away in my garden, pulling weeds and planting herbs and flowers. The children at the house next door are playing some sort of outdoor game that involves running and loud screaming. My friends in Peru are now in their 101st day of Covid-19 lockdown in their apartments. They can go out a couple times a week, but only to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or doctor, and only one person can go. That means that some of them are cooped up in apartments with kids who have not been allowed outside for over 100 days! There’s no way my boat is the same as that mother’s boat!

Art by Gene Foltuz

In my wasted youth, I once got stopped by a cop for driving while under the influence. It was embarrassing, humiliating even. But in the end, once I explained that I lived just a couple blocks away, the cop gave me a warning and told me to drive carefully and go directly home. Rayshard Brooks fell asleep in a non-moving vehicle in a fast food drive- through lane while apparently intoxicated. Once awakened, he moved his car to a parking space and offered to walk to his sister’s house a couple of blocks away. He was breathalized, arrested, handcuffed, chased and ultimately killed. Not only have we never been in the same boat but I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in the boat he spent his life in. I’m pretty sure he could not have imagined being in my boat either.

I’ve experienced many things in my life, including bad relationships, unemployment, homelessness and depression. I have never felt terror in my heart at the sight of a police car pulling me over. I have never feared for my life while in the presence of a cop, never mind been so terrified as to consider running. All in the same boat? I don’t think so.

I’m just hoping that this time, somehow, we will all realize how important it is for all of us to reach the shore alive at the end of the storm, regardless of the style and size and color of our boat.

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