I sat to write. Nothing. And that time it wasn’t writer’s block. It was a battle with conscience and occasion; an unwitting dilemma spawned by the need to care and the need to survive. It was wanting to introduce myself but not wanting to be another opportunist seizing #COVID-19 to pounce its prey. As an empath, all I wanted was to write some profound yet empathetic, even sympathetic piece, joining the chorus telling you to “stay at home, we’re in this together.” Not that we aren’t, we are. It’s just that even the thought of using this (or any other tragedy) to peddle advertising—even when so cleverly masked in caring contrived—is nauseating.
A few words eventually came, but the tone was enough to choke my fingers. I, too, was becoming more carpetbagger and less the empath that led to the founding of Give Me Dignity, a charity I started to help restore dignity to victims of abuse. I had drifted so far from my childhood where neighbors really took care of each other. Like the time Hurricane Gilbert just about destroyed my little village in the backwoods of Jamaica. Almost everyone had his/her abode rendered unsafe by the hurricane’s ferociousness. Not that even the hint of a good wind might not have done the same to many of them, mind you. But that’s beside the point. My mother, ever the helper, turned our three-bedroom house into emergency shelter, even even those few who openly despised her for her come-hither looks. She cooked, she fed, she prayed, she counseled, she helped until help could reach that part of everyday Jamaica with its face hidden behind the tourist veil. As I sat, trying but failing to channel the spirit of my mother who left this physical realm in 2018, I grew increasingly embarrassed that I had even given thought, let alone credence to using COVID-19 for any other reason than to express care. (Is there anything worse than trying to rationalize subpar thinking?) Yet, tried as I did to write something neutral enough, I, too, was becoming transactional, hiding behind the chaos of COVI9-19 and its ensuing anxieties. How do I ensure sincerity abounds? Well, images of my mother prevailed. She was after all, the embodiment of really, truly helping, without thought of return or tuning into WII-FM. Even from the grave my mother’s humanity trumped what I was taught to be a public relations/marketing pro. While mother taught me compassion, 'education' taught me to see every opportunity, well, as an opportunity. Sounds a little exploitative, I agree. And while I’m not some goody-two-shoe saint-in-the-making, I simply prefer to bask in the legacy of my mother’s humanity—even if it means foregoing a most perfect opportunity to pounce. So, with conscience in the clear, here is what I will leave you with: My name is Julie Soimaud. I am proud to be married to Jerome Soimaud, a French transplant and father of four daughters. I, myself have two daughters and a grandson; full house indeed! That’s just one reason we are so eager to offer some help, in any way we can, and have even put together a list of Bore Busters® we found useful in alleviating stress and building bonds. We are making it absolutely free and downloadable from our website https://www.s-team.miami/. And if you find something helpful, please share. There is enough bad news out there, let’s start an avalanche of good. After all, we are empaths by nature, and no we would not change that. What we would change is any environment that breeds such opportunism that humanity gets lost in the fray. We are real estate practitioners, who having lived all over the world, chose to call Miami/Beach home for more than two decades. We would love to earn your trust and your business when the time is right. In the meantime, we wish you and yours love, safety, fortitude, peace of mind and happiness!