Every situation or condition that we face can be a source of educating us. The current pandemic is no exception and perhaps one of the best educators of recent times.
So, what should we have learned? (The keyword here is “should”.) Only time will tell if we did learn anything, and perhaps even more to the point is if we learned things what will we do differently.
On a national level, the lessons to be learned stand out in bold type and have far-reaching impacts. We have, for various reasons, come to rely on foreign powers for many of our needs. Some of those powers are not even our friends. That reliance costs us dearly as a drain on our capital and in times of need actually damages us in that we are not self-reliant for many necessities. We have found that we rely on others for many of our drugs, medical supplies and equipment, foods, clothing, and even auto parts. (Thankfully we are self-sufficient now as to oil and gas.)
We have also seen that major segments of our elected officials and much of our media do not have the best interests of our country and its citizens at heart. Their interests are in promoting their own agendas and protecting their power base. We the people must stop supporting those internal enemies.
On a more personal basis, what are the lessons in this current crisis? Perhaps the following would be a good start on developing a list of things to focus on as we stay hunkered down.
- Have a financial reserve of 3-6 months to fall back on if there is a loss of income. Of course, this isn’t always easy but look for ways that you can reduce your historic spending by a few dollars here and there. Sock it away and yes it will take time and call for short term sacrifice, but look at the consequences of not doing so.
- Lower debt, particularly on credit cards and vehicles. Many households are suffering unnecessarily due to financing two or more vehicles, sometimes for as much as 7 years. Longer financing periods allowed people to buy more expensive trucks and SUVs than they could really afford. Debt greatly increases stress when there is an economic downturn in the household.
- Establish reserves of food, paper goods, cleaning supplies, fuel, and drugs. The best way to do this is to have every member of the household to write down everything they use in the course of a week. Again running out of the simplest thing like floss or toothpaste gets blown all out of proportion in times of stress. Build these supplies to a three month level of needs over a period of time as financially prudent.
- Get a hobby. Many have seen that when there is no work to go to, no neighborhood parties, no relatives to visit, and no other outside events time hangs heavy. Take up baking, gardening, reading, doing crossword puzzles, needlepoint, oil painting, or wood carving. It is important to have something to focus on besides a job or next Saturday’s baseball game. Try writing poetry, or your life story. It doesn’t have to be good or of a quality to be published. It just has to be something you enjoy doing. Who knows, someday one of your great-grandchildren may find your written history in a trunk in the attic and find it truly interesting.
- Use this new free time to renew or establish your faith. Read the bible, or think about the wonders of nature and the universe. Set aside some time to just ponder life and plan for the future. Ponder what you really want out of life and why.
Understand that we humans are always under stress when massive change is thrust upon us, particularly when we have little or no control over the change. Accept that and don’t let the stress dominate your outlook.
I have already written as much about what this situation could teach us, I also imagined some future scenarios etc.
Of course, I am not in a position to leave comments on what the institutions of another country have done and will be able to do for better or for worse.
Instead, I share the suggestions of how on an individual level we should do to make the best use of the time of isolation and today I have proposed to Bizcatalyst a post that imagines scenarios that in my opinion are possible for after Covid-19.
Of course, we can find some positive aspects in this situation, which can make the aftermath less difficult.
But it is also certain that we will have to change some habits, we will have to face many difficulties and, above all, we must never lose sight of our values and the quality of our relationships, while developing predictive skills and redefinition.
In this moment of great uncertainty, our call is to act, as far as possible.
Absolutely live within your means. Once again (I find myself saying this more and more) I learned from a very young age from my mother how to live smartly; not over spend, live according to your means… minimalist but smart.
It has saved me! Great advice Ken. thanks for sharing. Many don’t live like this.
You had a smart mom.
Thanks Ken for such a timely and powerful Post.
May I add, review how you spend your time.
What we do and who we do it with is key.
Human interaction is a vital component of our pysche.
Spend your time wisely.
Make time for the people that truly matter to you.
Digital methods where necessary.
Face to face when we can.
Good points, Anthony.
Great advice here Ken, some things need to be adhered to on a constant basis. We the people need to see the greatest lesson here and that’s the true value of life and what it needs to be a human first and foremost. Thank you so much for this thought provoking read. Have a great weekend my friend. Paula
Ken, thank you for sharing your article. I agree with you in that there is much we should learn from this situation not to mention there were other things we should have learned a lesson from but did not. Unquestionably the various branches of our government have become experts in fear-mongering as has the media. Each has (as you say) their own best interests at heart. When the dust finally settles it will be interesting to learn who was the least honest and whose head needs to go on the chopping block. All the details of who did or did not do what may not come out in a timely fashion but they will come out. Stay safe and well, Ken!
Yes, Joel. The potential fall out could be quite interesting.
Sage advice Ken. Hopefully, the truly wise will take heed.
We can only hope, Danny.