Most of us are facing challenges dealing with this new reality involving sickness, “lockdowns,” and “stay home” orders. I have had many of my friends and co-workers share their thoughts with me in the past few weeks. Thought about what they are experiencing, things they are doing to stay sane, bodily, and mentally. I will not delve into the negatives. Plenty of that going around. Instead, let me share some uplifting bits from these conversations.
A. People feel they are more connected with their families.
B. People are tending to their physical activities more mindfully rather than treating them as chores. I, for one, am loving washing veggies and fruits after making a grocery run.
C. Folks are coming up with new projects. For instance, my neighbors reorganized their entire basement with manageable containers.
D. I see parents bicycling and walking with their kids more than ever. Better than watching TV or mobile phone screen time!
E. A co-worker is braving his allergies and tending to his garden a lot more than he would like to.
F. I am enjoying having bananas and oranges, bit by bit, with my little boy, in our backyard, when the sun is out. It is becoming a ritual with me. I look forward to it.
G. Many stories of people reallocating their former commuting hours towards exercise, reading, and hearty home-cooked breakfasts.
H. Some friends are telling me how their kids are learning more remotely. Yes, more! This is because distractions of the classroom and school environment are absent.
I. Everyone tells me there is cleaner, more breathable, and refreshing air to take leisurely walks with your dears and nears.
J. All of us, are finding more time to connect with our loved ones remotely via facetime and video chats.
K. Friends donating to friends. People giving their excess to the needy.
L. Friends still paying their home-help, nannies and baby sitters, without reciprocations of services.
M. Everyone telling me how they are slowly becoming so mindful of avoiding wastage.
I have many more remarks and anecdotes to list. But as I see a compilation of these, I wonder if this is just temporary or if we are in for a new reality after the current one. A new reality where working remotely will be a sound productivity strategy. A reality where a better work-life balance will be a measurable perk with companies. A reality with improved rainy-day benefits in place for workers who are vulnerable to layoffs and furloughs. A reality in which governments will be more transparent and put citizens and humanity above all. A reality with more socially distant, but more emotionally closer and connected societies. A reality with communities that are more attuned towards the less fortunate and necessitous of us.
If we go back to the older ways before this pandemic pause, then we would have lost an excellent opportunity to reset our world in a meaningful way. Yes, there will still be many problems to solve, but at least would have done away with a few lingering ones once and for all.
Be well, and be happy.