COVID-19: A Positive Spin
Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, these days it’s all about COVID-19. If you’re stumbling across these words, then whether you are aware of it or not, there is something within you that knows there must be as equally positive news as we see negative. The universe is governed by balance. Remember, like Newton said, “for every action, there is an opposite but equal reaction – opposite in direction, equal in magnitude”. So, what good could possibly come out of COVID-19?
Before the virus
In the past, much of our attention as a society used to be focused on gossiping as we wondered which celebrity was dating who; and in the meantime, our relationships, family life, health, and savings were on the decline. We were completely distracted as we competed with each other on who had the latest iPhone. Did you know that in 2019, The Event Horizon Telescope captured the very first image of a black hole? It was a big deal; not only opening up a new era of exploration, but it also confirms Einstein’s fundamental theory of how the universe works. Did you hear about this news? Have you ever heard of such a telescope?
Boredom doesn’t have to be a negative
Now, as we grow bored of our smartphones and televisions due to quarantining, our priorities are shifting. We are finally starting to tune in on what is going on overseas and are beginning to reflect on the consequences of our actions. Most intensely, people are craving human interaction. We have always heard of the phrase, “humans are social beings”, but we are for the first time fully realizing that fact.
As people grow weary from boredom, it’s forcing our creative side out of us; creativity that most of us are not even aware lied dormant inside. People are finally starting that project they’ve been thinking about or learning that new skill they have been wanting to learn. Is there a better time other than being stuck at home to finally start? I, personally, have been wanting to start my own blogging website for a long time. Welcome to my very first blog post!
Our society is changing
People are realizing what is important to them; maybe it’s not on who has more likes on Facebook but on family life. Those who used work or any other distraction tool from learning how to communicate with their spouses are now forced into it. I live in a suburban area, and I have never seen parents so eager to go outside and play with their children. There are mothers who are baking with their kids and people out on nature walks and hiking trails for the first time, realizing the beauty of our planet.
And speaking of our planet, all of this quarantining is doing wonders! We are finally learning how not to waste food. Carbon monoxide emitted by all of our vehicles and factories is drastically down, making it a vastly better environment not only for us but for plants and animals as well. We’re also realizing that much of our work such as meetings for work and doctor’s visits can be accomplished online, thus we save time (which we can certainly use more of!) and money on gas. As a result, we reduce air pollution as we travel the roads less with our automobiles. Frankly put, the Earth has never been better!
And best of all, some of us are awakening to the brutal truth: COVID-19 is not the first pandemic and certainly will not be the last; that is, not if we continue living unsustainably and trashing our planet. Sure, some scientists are pondering on the likelihood of settling on Mars. But why not use those same resources, spending power, and energy to reverse the damage we have created on this planet? Wouldn’t that be much easier?
Now, as mental illness and fatigue, as well as drug and alcohol use, are on the rise, many of us at the same time are starting to seeing the light. Through our uncomfortable experiences of “cabin fever”, we have no choice but to be stuck in the same room with our own minds. There is nowhere to run. It is only in these types of circumstances that we are gifted the opportunity to see the truth: much of our suffering is caused by our thoughts.
“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – Lao Tzu
How can we move forward?
Instead of feeling frustrated and impatient, remember that you are doing the best you can to adapt to these circumstances. Take the time to practice mindfulness, and remember that this is all temporary. Like a rubber band, the farther you go back into the dark, you travel that much farther and faster into the light. According to Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
As you adjust to this new way of life, it is completely normal to get caught up and paralyzed in the loop of fear. But it is critical that along the way you forgive yourself for stumbling over each new step. It is time to recognize that it is impossible to learn something new without making mistakes, as a mistake is nothing more than a gauge.
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