“Be kind” I gently remind my intimate neighbors on NextDoor.

“Stay home” I subtly reprimand my loyal Instagram legion.

“Congratulate me” and “heed my expert advice” I humbly share to my audience to make my contributions to society known on FaceBook.

“Imagine” I sing to the sick and downtrodden intimating that quarantine is not so bad even within a mere 10,000 square feet to roam.

I hold my breath as I bravely walk within six feet of you at Costco and retreat two streets down when our paths would otherwise be destined to cross in the neighborhood. I avoid eye contact or a smile lest contagion occur through non-internet based social connection.

If only the people would recognize my wisdom, charity and personal practices we could get through this together, as a unified community. After all, “we are all in this together”, I repeat.

But wait, could it be that my tender admonitions should be directed at myself rather than my fellow man?

Perhaps, rather than focusing on what others should be doing, saying or thinking I should direct my energies toward my own actions, words and thoughts.

Perhaps my own situation blinds me to the needs and circumstances of others.

Perhaps some citizens need to be on the road, if not to perform essential services, then to go for a drive to escape their confines and to remember the scenic, beautiful countryside that still surrounds us.

Perhaps someone alone in their home or apartment needs the bustle and occasional conversation of the supermarket more so than they need another grocery item.

Perhaps the lady with the cart full of toilet paper, or flour or other supplies is taking care of her large family or her parents or her neighbors who are unable to shop on their own.

Perhaps the rude walker with the glare is out of work or frustrated by likely losing his final semester of high school or college and the opportunity to graduate and celebrate with his friends.

Perhaps the one who refuses to heed medical and governmental advice is clinging to a semblance of freedom to which they are accustomed in this country.

Perhaps then, it is I who needs to change what I do, how I see and think about you.

You are trying to get through these changes you did not wish or desire the best way that you are able.

At times, I will fail to recognize your efforts, I will fail to recognize your circumstances, I will fail to understand your point of view.

Please forgive me as I navigate these unknown circumstances and I will do my best to approach you with goodwill in all forms.

Perhaps it is I.