MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “perspectives”

In the time of Coronavirus everything is changing. Are we?

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It is obvious that our lives are changing and with it our daily routines. Whatever we so far considered “normal” may not be as such when we eventually exit this unprecedented crisis. Even the concept of what is “normal” has now obtained a controversial meaning, along with whatever we previously considered as given or obvious facts, such as the need for cleanliness which, although formerly seen as an obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), now has become an imperative necessity.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) during its violent and uncontrollable spread is now accompanied by the anguish of when cities and markets will regain their pulse after weeks or even months. What scares us the most is the unpredictability of all this.

We are treading on unchartered waters, moments that will remain engraved not only in our minds, but in global history. And we are unprepared for it. Because instead of investing in research and health programmes – in the essential – we grant importance to the ephemeral, things and people who in times of crisis will have no value or use.

There are many theories circulating regarding the Coronavirus. How it is a conspiracy of the strong and powerful to further manipulate and subdue the weak masses; on the conflict between East and West; on economic interests etc.

Whatever the case, the current pandemic constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity.

It is a challenge for healthcare systems that have broken down due to lack of infrastructure, and resources both human and material; for state aid to be offered to those most affected; for social solidarity that is necessary now more than ever; for individual responsibility that many continue not to comprehend; for our mental health primarily, and for every kind of relationship we have.

This absence of regularity, the abrupt disruption of our daily lives, our routines, has shaken us to the core. This is aggravated by the fear of the economic impact or an imminent financial crisis, together with the lack of connection with other people. Suddenly, we find ourselves with an abundance of time, but no people to spend it with. All this heightens the feeling that we have lost our sense of safety. And this in turn makes us miserable; it brings upon us an undefined grief.

It is only if we manage to find the positive in a negative situation, that we will be able to fight it; to save ourselves both physically and mentally. For every illness, the remedy is always a strong immune system – resilient antibodies – to be able to cure ourselves. The same goes for the thoughts that we allow to occupy our minds. A head full of fear has no room for dreams. So let’s be optimistic, because as Winston Churchill said, “it does not seem too much use being anything else”.

The truth is, we should be grateful about how privileged we are that amidst a global pandemic we have been ordered to stay at home – in our refuge – in the safety of our own space, reading, watching TV, working, creating, with a full fridge and few worries, waiting for this all to end. Most of us are called to fight this invisible enemy from our couch.

Yet, we complain for the opportunity to get away from the routine we constantly criticised for draining our energy and leaving us little time to do the things we really want. Here is our chance to remember our hobbies, to watch TV, to learn something new, to read books, spend time with our loved ones, to (finally) get acquainted with technology, to invest time in ourselves and our priorities and evolve stronger, improved.

But we still complain. When other worse hit countries are forced to choose who to save because their healthcare systems are overwhelmed. We complain because we are staying home, when there are people who don’t even have that. We spend a lifetime staring at a screen, yet now we suddenly all want to go outside. The forbidden is always sweeter, they say. Even now, under these dire circumstances.

In the time of Coronavirus, everything is changing.

And when all this shall pass – because it will – what will we be left with? Apart from an earth that has pushed a small ‘pause’ and managed to heal itself, and leaving aside reports about a new hantavirus, what will we have learned out of all this? Will we wash our hands and our communal spaces better? Will we maintain social distancing? Will we consider that our individual actions have an impact on others? Will we appreciate more the time we have, the people around us and everything we consider as granted? Will we view life with a different lens?

The Coronavirus pandemic has proven how unprepared we are, because we consider so many things – even health – as granted. It is a shock on the global health system, on governance, security, but mainly on our values. It showed that everything around us is so temporary. Things we revolved our lives around: our work, gym, cafes, malls, cinemas, society itself, have all become irrelevant as we are now learning for weeks to live without them. It has taught us that we are so technologically advanced we can actually work from home, i.e. anywhere, and we can remain more connected than we believe. But in the end, it is up to us to demonstrate that the lives lost daily are not in vain. It is our responsibility to change ourselves to change the world.

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Searching for allies in our head

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It was a cold, winter day with north winds howling through the window. The cold crept indoors, no matter how tightly shut the airways were.

He was moaning about how freezing it was even inside.

She had her mind elsewhere to pay too much attention. It was just the start of winter; more cold would surely follow.

Each person has random things hovering inside their mind. Things that grasp their attention at times when they should be focused on something or someone else. But we don’t know about them unless they are shared with us. Unless that someone else lets us into their mind, and on condition that we are empathetic enough to understand how and why whatever the problem is, is causing so much concern to the person next to us.

We are all different. It is inevitably so. And as such, we don’t all view the world in the same way. Problems we see as “end of the world”-type disasters, to someone else may be negligible mishaps. It is difficult to find people who share our point of view, our perspective, let alone our values. The meaning of “important” is not the same for everyone. That is why it is often challenging to explain what it is that is draining our energy and our mental health.

And that is why people often choose to bury themselves in a shell, rather than speak out. Because it is easier to shy away than try to make others understand.

He left, once again, as he always did when he couldn’t – or didn’t want to – understand her.

Just an hour later, the central heating in the building was turned on, presenting a strong ally against the cold.

Different Worlds

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--g6b8vGj14Y/VLw7moMN3yI/AAAAAAABjA4/RSkmWC0MZ70/s1600/Lady%2Band%2BTramp%2Bspaghetti.jpgThere is a saying that opposites attract. Like the opposing ends of a magnet drawn onto each other.

But there is also the belief that people need to match in order to suit each other, to be able to communicate on the same level and see things in the same perspective.

That is not necessarily true.

There is a reason why The Lady and The Tramp worked out despite being nothing alike. Being from different backgrounds and levels, they found that they completed each other. Because having grown up differently, with other kinds of experiences and views on life, that “other”, the person so astoundingly opposite to you – as it seems – has an entirely inverse perspective. One that does not necessarily contradict yours, but rather, comes to complete it.

It would be truly boring if we all had the same beliefs, opinions and views on life. There would be nothing to push us to grow, to learn, to improve, to become better at life itself. There would be nothing to show us another side to reality and to dreams.

We need that ‘different’ in our lives because it is what makes us more unique.

And sometimes, it is through that contrast that we find something that completes us.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Magnet

Matching levels

http://www.letuspublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/xCute-friendship-wallpaper-download-1024x768.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qfuv0GACdr.jpgA wise old woman once told me that you should look to find someone who matches your level. It may sound simple, but as you mature and widen the perspectives through which you view the world, you realise that this is more difficult than it seems.

Every day we meet various people from different fields of social life. It depends on what we do and the circles within which we interact, but, regardless, if you look around you, you will see that we are surrounded by people from varying age groups, educational levels, social backgrounds, religious convictions, sexual orientations, financial prosperity, nutritional preferences, etc. What makes us get along better with some over others is, however, common habits and perceptions. Having similar viewpoints is something that would enable you to develop closer ties with certain people. It’s those who you choose to be your friends, your confidants, your partners. But, even with them, some times you need to compromise to resolve potential arguments in case your beliefs collide, and in order to maintain a harmonious relationship.

It is said that as you grow older you become more selective and ultimately more demanding with those you have next to you. You also tend to become more experienced, which in most case (should) mean that you are more knowledgeable of life itself.

Hence, the reason to seek out someone of your level.

Because you need someone on your side with whom you can discuss politics and current affairs, but also sports, technology, fashion, and celebrity gossip. You want to have the option of talking about everything and anything at any given time. It is the concept of having a broad education and being aware of what is going on in the world we live in. That is why you need someone who also shares this outlook.

You yearn for someone who can comprehend that when you say you haven’t slept because you were up all night covering a major ground-breaking news development, that means that you literally did not get any sleep and that is nowhere near the same as staying up at a party (yet getting at least 2-3 hours sleep in the early morning hours).  Someone who can see that when you’re on the verge of exhaustion, you – just like everyone – have your own way of reacting to it, wanting to be alone in tranquility and avoiding chatter. Someone who can actually understand that complex nature of what it is you do for a living and respect the difficulty it entails, despite the flexibility of the job. Someone, who will understand all of the above and try to assist you, even when you don’t ask for help.

We all want someone in our lives who we’ll call a friend, but will really be family. A home away from home when necessary. The person who’ll freely give out hugs or offer alcohol whenever needed. And the one who will know which occasion calls for which remedy accordingly.

But what we need most of all, is people surrounding us with whom you don’t need to lower your level to fit in. People with whom you’ll challenge each other to become better, smarter and more informed. That is how the world would change for the better. By pushing each other forward. Not the opposite.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Companion

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