One of my favorite quotes about life comes from comedian Jim Carrey, who said;
“Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.”
In view of the horrible loss that has been part and parcel of the coronavirus, it is hard to think of it as an opportunity life is opening up. But it is, and it is up to us to take it or to sit idly afraid.
These are the three lessons that come to mind for me;
1) The great equalizer. It turns out the United States, in spite of all of our wealth and military might, is just as vulnerable and perplexed as any other country. We are all in the same boat. Some countries have done much better dealing with the pandemic and we stand to learn from them. But we are unwilling to do so because we want to believe we are superior over the rest of the world. Obviously, we are not.
2) Someone greater than us is in charge. The combined power of all the nations is defenseless against this act of nature. All of our knowledge and technology are toothless against this virus. All of our political, business and religious leaders hold no power over COVID-19. There is clearly a greater force that controls everything in the Universe and it isn’t the human species.
3) We are all connected. Whatever you might believe about how this virus came to be (whether it came from an infected bat or a Chinese biological weapon accident, or apply your favorite conspiracy theory), the fact remains it has spread around the world through human connections. Borders do not separate us. People travel in and out of countries because of business or family ties. Whether you approve of globalization, we are all connected globally, and it is nonsense to presume that we can isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.
There are many more lessons.
Questions to ask yourself
The coronavirus has taught me many lessons of a personal nature, like about the fragility of all the freedoms I took for granted (ie. dinning out), or about the time and money I wasted shopping for things I really didn’t need. All this unplanned idle time has shown me the uselessness of my obsessive habit of running from one activity to another. It is amazing to discover how many of these things I don’t even enjoy.
What have you learned so far? Here is a list of questions to help you ponder.
1) Is saving the economy more important than saving lives?
2) Who are more indispensable to our survival, professional athletes, movie stars or grocery clerks, delivery drivers and health care professionals?
3) Who are the people who have stood out so far for their leadership?
4) Will you ever shake someone’s hand or greet another person with a hug ever again?
5) What changes must you make to your life?
6) Do you have clarity on your personal value and life purpose?
7) What will your new normal look like?
Clarity is often the greatest gift we can receive from our challenges. The coronavirus has shown us the best and worst in people. Some we thought would shine in this moment went into hiding, while the most unsuspecting person has shown tremendous strength, compassion and courage. Times like these give us a clear picture about ourselves, and that is a gift! But it is important you take some time to reflect on it.
Remember, paying gratitude for your life forward will reward you with much joy and contentment.