How To Be Human In An Epidemic


A while back I wrote an article ‘How to be human in the 4th Industrial Revolution’. In these Tolkien/Steven King times, I want to add to that. Not because I believe I know the answers… I don’t even know the question. I am no more equipped than anyone else – I just want to be the person my dog thinks I am.

How to be a Hero

So, how do we stay human in these surrealistic, scary times? How does one not start panicking, stock-piling toilet paper, or becoming a social media addict?
In the doom and gloom of sci-fi movies, there is always a strong, level-headed protagonist. The hero/ heroine always has a plan and moves purposefully and trustworthily towards it. (It helps that they almost always have – unless it is a comedy – good hair, strong jaws and steely-eyed glances. Also, the cool background music when the hero enters, the flattering lighting techniques, and the easily recognisable one-dimensional baddy help us to trust this heroic personality).

Suggestions:

How can we then be a ‘hero’ in our own trying times? (With no instant gratification or recognition of our deeds). By small acts of kindness. Connecting with people. A call to a long-lost friend. Forgiveness to those who hurt you. Practicing compassion and gentleness with self and others. You can reframe the madness into something that you can learn from, rise above and grow. Use the gift of time wisely…what are you doing with the abundance of time thrust upon us by this virus?

How to use the gift of time:

For a type A personality like myself who thrives on chaos and deadlines, this is a huge challenge. Who am I when I’m not busy?
The epidemic is forcing us, and the world, to slow down. To go back to the basics…and to remember that we all need each other. How do we care for ourselves, our family, our communities…our vulnerable?
The virus does not recognise colour, culture, religion, status, education or gender.

So what?

What would our steely-eyed, square jawed hero do?
Because our children are watching, it is not what we say…it is what we do that they learn from.
This is a plea for us not to sink into despair, herd mentality or survival mode. That is easy. We can be more than that.

This too will all pass.

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