Life is full of surprises; we all know this, and yet are never ready for them. Coronavirus pandemic was indeed a surprise that brought fears, losses, unexpected discoveries, and controversial decisions. When there is a burden of doing the same thing day by day, it feels that nothing is going to change. However, when looking back, I realize how many things have become different. It is a lot easier to reflect on past events in 30 or 40 years because the outcomes are already clear. In this memoir, I want to share how my life values have transformed after the global lockdown.
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The Gift of Time
We tend to take time for granted, believing it has no limits. During the self-isolation, my vision and sense of time took a turn. Every day I woke up with the feeling of missing something intact, observing how life was passing by. There was no more routine, no more traditional classes or gatherings, picnics, and hiking. I felt numb and paralyzed, left out at the brink of the universe. Slowly, my mind started to push me in another direction.
I began to read more poetry, practiced meditations, and upgraded my culinary skills. I opened a forgotten diary to write down my feelings and experiences. Time is a precious gift, and it is in everyone’s power to unlock its untapped potential. There is no need to be busy, but rather to know how to spend time wisely. Nowadays, it is the most valuable asset that allows me to stay active and energized, implement all plans and dreams.
Everybody got scared of people and contacts; the whole world never felt so lonely and abandoned. Suddenly, I became a stranger, someone that should be avoided at any price. I felt very isolated and broken, recalling previous gatherings with friends and siblings. Social life was undergoing a significant transformation, with gadgets and laptops at its heart. Undoubtedly, I communicated with friends and schoolmates online before, but it was more for fun. In a blink of an eye, this online communication turned out to be a new reality.
It was an opportunity to reconnect with family and close friends, maybe even call relatives in another state or country. I found that I had been too self-centered, sometimes ignoring the needs and concerns of my family and friends. Therefore, I attempted to reconsider this behavior and listened more and talked less. When I let people express themselves and show sincere interest, they revealed their deepest feelings. I am very proud that my loved ones trust me, and we have no secrets to hide.
Believing in Yourself
When an individual is losing ground, motivation to move forward disappears too. From time to time, I was reluctant to study and learn because all the knowledge seemed useless. It is a dangerous idea that ambitious activities and hard work do not matter in the time of disaster. On the contrary, it helps to stay focused and determine goals to be achieved. Therefore, I made a schedule to organize and track all the activities and duties. It is way harder to be disciplined when you are by yourself. However, this discipline starts to pay off once there is an understanding that you are the one responsible for your life and personal growth. In short, your inner value should not be challenged by external factors.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, communities all across the globe united in solidarity. Every action, voice, and contribution counted in the battle against the pandemic. People got to know their neighbors, cashiers at a local grocery store, and nobody hesitated to ask for help. It seemed that we had underestimated the importance of relationship, kindness, and empathy. Despite the increased physical distance, the emotional connection between individuals grew narrower. Everybody needed support, a piece of advice, and a shoulder to cry on. It was an opportunity to see how similar our hopes and fears are, regardless of the ethnic background, religious beliefs, or skin color.
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More than that, the anthropogenic impact on the planet became more evident than ever before. The earth was slowly regenerating when factories closed down, and the tourist traffic decreased. I reassessed the way we have to treat our environment and the natural world. Instead of being exploiters and destructors, we must take on the role of creators and guardians. Human beings are part of an enormous ecosystem that sustains the well-being of every living creature. I decided to make ethical choices and take small steps on the way to environmentally friendly living.
The pandemic demonstrated that humanity was not ready to grapple with the crisis. We are more vulnerable and indecisive under conditions of uncertainty. Nonetheless, I used this period of turbulence to reassess values and guiding principles in life. Time is a powerful tool that gives us unique opportunities to learn and develop every day. Family and friends are the sources of encouragement, and keeping relationships strong requires effort. Finally, humankind should get united to conserve the environment and provide support for those who need it the most.