“Well, that’s okay”, I thought “...and understandable.” But after a month of waiting, I decided to track down my order. I got a nice response from the customer service person which really told me nothing new and I found that the link to check out the status of my order didn’t work either...my order number was not even recognized. Well, I finally received a notice that the order had shipped. Good. I waited not-so-patiently for nearly another month and wrote again...this time a bit more directly expressing my disappointment and frustration.
Again, I got back a lovely apology and assurance that it was shipped. It was coming from China and had to go through customs, quarantines, and other things before even making it on a plane to cross the miles to the United States. The order was not considered essential and took a backseat to the shipment of those things that needed to be shipped more urgently, like, masks and gloves, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Grrrr. That did not help me get what I had ordered and, with my built-in American arrogance, I felt I deserved. Had I known it was coming from such a distance, I would not have bothered...and I wrote that in my response.
But, then, something clicked. The customer service person on the other end of this exchange and I both had something in common. We were both living through the same global pandemic as each other. We might live worlds apart, but in this way we were neighbors. I began to wonder about her fears and experience. Her life circumstances and concerns. A familiar compassion began to surface and I decided to respond again with the email below:
Thanks again for your email information. This entire order experience has given me pause to think about something. Here I am in the upper Northeast region of the USA and there you are...somewhere in the world, perhaps China...perhaps Indonesia...perhaps the USA...perhaps some other place.. Yet, we share something in common and that is the unique experience of dealing with the impact of a global pandemic with all of its uncertainties and fears and unknowns.
I have wondered, do you have a family member who has been made ill by this virus? Do you, yourself, quarantine in your home or wear a mask? Do you avoid going out in the public too much for safety reasons related to this global disaster? Do you have enough food to eat or to care for your family? Do you worry about someone in your family getting sick? My husband and I take care of my healthy and vibrant 96 year old mother who lives with us....we are careful that we do not expose her inadvertently.
We have more in common than a missing paint-by-number kit, but the painting...and what feels like an eternal wait on my part...is a life lesson that I am learning. I could fuss and fume and rail against the situation but that would not accomplish anything and would only make your day more difficult, and it is possibly already difficult enough. I realized that I might respond in kindness. Not only might that probably help you feel better, it definitely makes me feel better.
In some small way, this feels like a life lesson that has been seeking to make itself known to me: that the world needs to reach out to each other with much more kindness. Regardless of politics, national fervor, and situations and issues over which we have no control, we are basically human beings living somewhere in the world who have in common shared hopes, dreams, questions, fears. If we can make our journey through life a little more filled with joy, then perhaps we should do that especially now.
So, I really want to thank you for this update on my order. Once I get it, I see it as definitely a spiritual moment to enjoy over and over while I paint the sunflower I selected. Thank you for the work you are doing and the grace with which you are doing it.
Many blessings, Carole Wageman
And so, I weep for the world...not so much for the ways we hurt each other but for the sweet angel touch of kindness that each of us might embody as our personal special power. May that living fire sweep the world as effectively as COVID-19.
Photo #1-#4 found on Pexels.com
#1 Sunflower during sunset by Pixabay
#2 Photo of sunflower by Skitterphoto
#3 Yellow sunflowers in clear glass vase by Kristina Paukshtite
#4 Selective photo photography of sunflower by Brett Sayles