When in the vacuum of what is lost, awareness grows of what once was, not only gratitude grows, but so does respect. Covid-19 showed it to us the hard way. When the world starts running again, let’s not harden our hearts, but keep the lesson taught.
He shuffles slowly through the aisle, normally he would be rushed over, but not today. He takes his time to fill his trolley, normally he would be hurried up, but not today. ‘We have community hours for our elderly and people with disabilities’ goes the billboard at the door of the shop. When they have the chance to walk in the disinfected shop in the morning, the hurried and stressed people have to wait outside.
‘Help the elderly’ was the plea of various governments. In times of Corona, they were the most vulnerable. In times of Corona, they were the ones that had to stay at home and were the highest at risk being exposed to others. In Times of Corona elderly homes turned into fortresses.
In Times of Corona, we became aware of those that were once like us, and we will be one day.
The ones that were once parents, grandparents, youngsters, business leaders, sales people, adventurers or travellers, dreamers and doers, philosophers and pragmatics, admired and loved, living up to their vision and values. In times of Corona, we learned to respect and love them again or more, to close them in our hearts and minds, not to let them go to the virus.
Besides the elderly, there were the patients at risk to which risky behaviour of others could be fatal. They were self-quarantined, pleading others to flatten the curve as soon as possible, because for them the lockdown meant being locked-up.
They are often seen as the weaker of our society, the ones with the diseases and disabilities, the once that struggle daily for their life or their health; against the pain or the disease.
But how weak are people who cannot take their life nor health for granted?
How weak are those who fight every day, every second, who got beaten down every once in a while, but manage to gather the courage, the energy and the motivation to get up again and continue their journey regardless? Watching these warriors locked-up with mouth masks before the majority of their compatriots got locked down made us aware of their unique strength; and the respect they deserve.
A similar comparison goes up for those who are sensitive, emotional or psychological vulnerable. Showing emotions is often regarded as showing weakness. Admitting you are struggling psychologically, or physically, admitting you are exhausted in one way or the other, is often been considered as a sign of weakness.
But isn’t it feeling what makes us human? Isn’t it brave to go out in the arena of life and expose yourself to the emotions and experiences that make you feel, that make you tired, that make you laugh and cry; rather than not going out in the arena all together or being cut off by reality around you by pulling up a wall or wearing a bulletproof harness?
Those who catch the bullets are not foolish for not wearing a harness, they are brave for catching them, strong for dealing with them, and wise for deciding which ones they should fight, could fight, and would fight, and when they have to take a rest before continuing their path.
The harnessed ones who continue life regardless what comes their way, and don’t let it have a real impact, are not stronger.
Contrary, throughout life they’ll become dependent on their harness to protect them, for they are not building any strength or wisdom to cope with life’s bullets. Once their harnesses fall off, they’ll recognise the real strength of the others, while the others will take care of their vulnerability.
In times of Corona, I’ve seen how weak the harnesses were of many, and how fighting together through this made everyone stronger. In times of Corona, we became aware of what we were trying to hide, and learned to respect those who don’t hide.
A similar division we experience often between different jobs. Jobs that are regarded as better than others, yet, in times of Corona, we became aware how arbitrary this division is. ‘We are normally the ones looked down on, not making as big a living as our friends,’ said a nurse one day, ‘but we are the ones having our job still, while they don’t.’
She wasn’t alone. In times of Corona various jobs became obsolete, while we became aware of these ‘essential’ workers.
We should not measure each other’s values in terms of money or power, but in terms of meaning. This might be meaning for society, but as well, meaning for your own circle and yourself. With that kind of mindset, we should re-establish respect for certain professions we underestimated or did not valued enough; starting with the health care sector, but going way beyond.
In times of Corona the masks fell off, we became aware of our role in society and the role of others; we became aware of how we regard others and how others regard us. While we were all struggling, everybody in their own way, we learned the be grateful and respectful, for the health care workers, for our family members and friends, for the teachers, for the older ones and the younger ones. We learned we are all together in this, and we need each other to go through this, all in our own way, at our own pace, all with our own skills and value, our own vision and mission. Therefore, respect.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
- Health Heroes
- Pains and Gains
- Solidarity 3.0
- Work-Life Balance
- Home sweet home
- Real Connections
- Leadership 3.0
- gratitude 3.0
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.