Never in my lifetime have I experienced a pandemic so grave that it almost felt apocalyptic. It’s like something you read about in history books or in the Bible. I mean, who would have ever thought such “pestilence” could show up at our front door and ravage America, a nation that seems so invincible?
I remember 9/11, the last epic tragedy that grieved the entire nation. Talk about devastation, sorrow and fear! Innocent blood poured on American soil, leaving thousands of families to never see their loved ones again. Heart-ripping images from that day are forever etched in my memory. We mourned a long time, some longer than others, but we eventually made it through the crisis and became a stronger nation as a result.
Before eight weeks ago, it was unheard of in my lifetime to close schools, wear face masks outside the home, stock up on toilet paper, and distance myself not just from strangers but also from the people I love. This is NOT normal, and I refuse to accept this way of living as the “new” normal — no, it’s completely abnormal! We were created for “human touch” and connectivity, not to be isolated and forever sheltered.
Whenever I go through a crisis, professional or personal, I usually ask myself this one question, “What can I learn from this?” Asking this question doesn’t make the pain of the crisis go away, but it does help me to process and cope with the reality of my situation. Everyone has their own way of grieving.
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing many things about us—the effectiveness of our decision-making, what we have valued, and what truly matters. Crisis has a way of pulling back the cover and revealing what, where and who we really are—whether it’s good or bad. Everything is a learning opportunity if we dare to reflect and ponder.
Here are a few things that COVID-19 is teaching me:
- Hope. The Earth has seen other pandemics in its lifetime. Yet the sun still rises, and humankind still lives. This is why I know we will make it through this crisis.
- Humility. We are not as smart as we think we are. There is always someone smarter. As a nation, America has been brought to its knees by COVID-19. We are not invincible, though we are resilient. This is a reminder that there exists a Power that is eternal and greater than mankind, and that we should always respect and revere that Power.
- Stewardship. The truth is, I have been wasteful. I’ve spent so much money eating expensive food at restaurants instead of cooking at home, paying for cable channels and memberships that I don’t use, paying people for housework that I can do myself, buying clothes that I don’t wear, and the list keeps going. Today, I am a recovering “over-consumer” with lots of room to grow! Less is more. Cutting back my spending on “stuff” makes me cherish and take care of the things I already have.
- Generosity. No matter how bad you might think your situation is, there is always someone else who is worse off than you. While I have cut back on my spending, I have not stopped giving. I may not give as much as I would like, but I give what I can to help others in dire need. The generosity we give to each other is what will help us triumph together in this crisis. There is always something we can do.
- Gratitude. All we have is today. COVID-19 is teaching me to live in the present, not the future. Because the truth is, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So rather than worry about what will happen in my life in the next week, month or year, I choose to celebrate and be thankful for today. Today, I am healthy, have a roof over my head, a family I love, food in my refrigerator, rolls of toilet paper and Netflix. Life is good!
We will make it through this crisis, and I believe we’ll come out stronger on the other side. What are some things that COVID-19 is teaching you? Please leave a comment below. CLICK HERE to join the tribe and follow me on social media for daily inspirations.