“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” – Elizabeth Lesser, Author
Isolation has never felt so real as it does right now. With all of the technologies made available to us, the human connection is the thing we currently crave. Hugging our loved ones, being with them where we can feel their energy, catch the sparkle in their eyes, smell their essence. Oh, if only we had noticed before how we had taken the simplest of things for granted.
This virus has been the great equalizer. It doesn’t care about age, gender, wealth. It doesn’t respect your political views, your religious beliefs, your sexual orientation, your skin colour. We have all become one and the same – equal members of the human race.
In such a few short weeks, it has exposed our addiction to comfort and the need to be constantly scrolling, stimulated, numbed.
This virus is calling everything into question. The never-fulfilling acquisition of stuff. The relentless pursuit of status and wealth. Brand names on disposable items. The tireless distraction of busy-ness – focusing on misplaced priorities, never having enough time yet filling it with more, saying yes to everything – all of this requiring us to escape from the present for a break.
This virus has forced us all indoors with nothing but time on our hands to reflect on what really matters to each of us. What would our world look like if we rose up from this experience as enlightened individuals realizing that nothing matters anymore?
Imagine if we decided to embrace a simpler life, something with meaning and substance. What if we found contentment with that?
- Every evening we turned off all technology, ate dinner around the table, and connected with family
- The children were allowed just one organized hobby or sport or special interest in a calendar year
- We made our spouses a priority
- We sat on the front porch instead of sitting in the backyard
- We greeted a new neighbour to the neighbourhood with a casserole or friendly handshake
- We made thrift store shopping into a thing
- We were only open Monday to Friday in our manufacturing and factories
- We only bought “made in Canada”
- Gym memberships were replaced with home-based exercise routines and long walks in the fresh air
- All the shops were closed on Sundays
- We honoured our families, ourselves, and embraced our spiritual side. Attending our spiritual house, family time, Sunday dinners, community fellowship. A day of rest
- We didn’t care about illusions of living the “Martha Stewart ideal” of the perfectly folded sheets, the perfectly iced chocolate layer cake, the perfectly decorated home, recipes for every occasion, DIY crafts and home décor
- You became the person you were meant to be, discovering your natural gifts and talents
- You quit your job and got paid to do what brings you joy. What would that job be?
- We discovered that half of the workforce could work from home saving time, highway congestion, natural resources, money, and more
- You took the time to hang the laundry on the line…
As difficult as it is now, this pandemic will subside and we will rise from the ashes of this destruction. We will learn some profound lessons from this experience and hopefully with a new perspective on the things that matter. It may prove as a time to reset priorities and direction for ourselves and our society.
A new normal is about to emerge! Let’s be brave enough to sit at the feet of our seniors and hear their wisdom, learning from their life lessons. Let’s be fearless in volunteering where we have passion, and giving our loved ones our intentional attention. Let’s be courageous enough to live a life with our hands outstretched – not to receive, but to give. Let us also take every opportunity to slow down and learn from what’s happening around us.
My prayer is that all of us find our purpose.