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The Buddy System: A community working together - March/April 2021 Publisher's Letter

Mar 09, 2021 08:10PM ● By Daniela J. Jaeger

When learning about water safety, you usually hear the phrase “buddy system,” which refers to pairing up individuals and making them responsible for ensuring each other’s safety. Because most drowning deaths occur when people are alone, swimmers are always encouraged to swim with someone else. Having a buddy along is a safeguard for both of you. It also makes spending time in the water more fun.

This idea of a buddy system—of working together to ensure each other’s safety—is especially appropriate as we all navigate the fast-paced changes of dealing with a pandemic. I am continually amazed, and appreciative, when I see our community working together for the good of all. It reminds me of a quote from the Book of Divine Thoughts: "Every person has his burden. One cannot live without the support of other people; therefore we have to support each other with consolation, advice, and mutual warnings.”

That is what I see as I am out in the community. Our local businesses and organizations must constantly react to changes in the "rules" while they serve us and try to stay afloat. Sometimes, we do get frustrated and want to complain about the restrictions placed on us. We have to remember, though, that the struggles are not just ours. It is difficult for our local businesses to stay on top of the expectations and needs of the communities they serve while at the same time adhering to restrictions that are placed on them.

I hear a lot of "We're in this together" in advertising, store announcements and everyday communications. It can get repetitious, but the message is important: This is affecting all of us. It is also a reminder that we can get through this if we stick together. I like the sound of that. It's the buddy system.

As I applaud our local businesses for persevering through the ever-changing landscape of restrictions and expectations, I also want to encourage all of us to make sure that we are seeing to our own self-care. We have to get some healthy distance from the turmoil and make time to quiet our minds and souls.

I can't think of a better place to do that than being on the water, which is the theme of this March/April 2021 issue. There is something about being in nature—and especially near the soothing power of water—that heals and gives hope. Water is the essence of life. In fact, without water life would be impossible. It is no wonder, then, that being in, on or around the water fills us with life.

Take some time to explore the water around you. Listen to its calming sound, feel its invigorating energy, lose yourself for a little while in the waves, currents, streams or trickles. I guarantee that however you choose to enjoy the water, you will come back refreshed. Better yet, take a buddy. Splash, play and have fun knowing that you are "in it together."

Daniela J. Jaeger
Group Publisher, TOTI Media