At a rate of knots, COVID-19 is introducing us to new ways of thinking and being. As a society, we were prepared for neither the journey nor the rapid rate at which we are being required to adapt, as we continue along a path that we didn’t choose to be on.
We are now seeing countries being forced to make ethical and moral choices that many of us never expected to see on such a large scale. As individuals, we each seem to have so many balls to juggle. We are worrying about the survival of ourselves and others, while navigating job and financial concerns. Many of us are simultaneously dealing with working from home and and schooling from home. Many have lost loved ones.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of this is that at a time when we need each other more than ever, it is essential that we remain physically separated.
None of us has had to navigate anything like this before. It is new, even for those who are leading us. With that newness comes uncertainty. With the uncertainty, comes a potential myriad of emotions, often all at once.
Devastation Brings Innovation, Kindness & Fear
Interestingly, what I also see emerging is an opportunity to create. We are seeing people come together to develop innovative ways of managing and dealing with COVID-19. We see ourselves becoming creative with regard to creating opportunities for virtual togetherness. Many schools are now online, something that, only a few weeks ago, we would not have considered possible. Virtual support groups are being created on a global scale. Individuals are going above and beyond to show compassion and kindness to people with whom they may never have crossed paths prior to COVID-19. People are creating kindness, compassion, innovation and love and using that to help a world that is very much in need.
This is happening because, as a world, we are in this together. As a world, we are all experiencing roller coasters of emotions. As a world, we are all wondering what this is going to mean for life in the future and, in this regard, we have a common understanding of each other.
The reset button has been hit on the entire world.
As we all try our best to survive this reset, it is also important to acknowledge that not all of our responses appear to have been examples of love, kindness and compassion. We have seen assaults over toilet paper where people who are most likely operating from fear and anxiety, are not feeling able to share with others who are also operating from fear and anxiety. We have seen news stories where some leaders appear to be linking support to whether their followers have agreed with them in the past. We have seen news stories of people who are financially gouging others in a time of great need. It is very possible that none of these people are consciously aware of what they are creating for themselves and others in the world. They are simply trying to survive on a previously un-navigated journey. As we all are.
We Have a Choice
With the reset button now activated, what would happen if we used this reset to become more aware of our behaviours and how we are being in the world?
If we opened ourselves up to being more conscious about what we are creating through our interactions with the world, what would it be possible to create?
The world is going to be different post COVID-19. As we all try to move through this world reset and into the new world, what way of being and behaviours are we going to to take with us? What way of being and behaviours are we going to leave in the old, pre COVID-19 world?
- Are we going to take toilet paper hoarding behaviours with us, or are we going to create something within ourselves that involves sharing what we have with others?
- Are we going to tie outcomes to whether people agree with us, or are we going to respect each other as individuals and be a leader in the support of others?
- Are we going to use disasters as a way of gouging others, or are we going to support and help others through disasters?
Ultimately, how society grows and learns from this is up to each of us as individuals. And, as individuals carving out this new world, perhaps a useful question might be:
What will I consciously choose to create now and beyond COVID-19??
Because, here’s the thing. We can’t change that this has happened. We can’t change that each of us has no idea as to whether we will survive it. However, if the world has hit the reset button, maybe it is time for us to become more aware of what we are creating in the world. Maybe it is time for us to notice what we are telling ourselves about life, what emotions and moods we are living from and how we are embodying both, and maybe it is time for us to consciously choose whether that is how we want to be in the world.
For myself, I now see that our pre COVID-19 life felt incredibly chaotic and busy, and as though we had significant pressure on ourselves as a family to “do it all”. I’ve enjoyed being in isolation with my family, really noticing them, deliberately interacting with them, putting them first, and taking life a lot more slowly with them. I have enjoyed working from home and having them nearby. I want to take elements of this newfound way of being into my post COVID-19 life, not only for the way in which I interact with my family, but also for the way in which I interact with others. And so, with gratitude, I am choosing to be more deliberate about creating my existence in this world, and how that existence impacts others.
We can consciously choose what we create for ourselves and others in life now and beyond COVID-19. What we choose has the potential to have a significant impact on society as a whole.
What will you choose?
This is a variation of the article “We can Choose What we Create from COVID-19”, written by me and originally posted on my personal blog “An Ontological Life“. It has also been posted on LinkedIn as a LinkedIn article.