Taking nothing away from the staggering loss of life and perhaps permanent damage to the global economy, it is possible that unexpected blessings could come out of the COVID-19 crisis. What could those be?
My dear friend, radio personality, Ian Punnett, regularly serves as a guest host on Coast2Coastam.com. Consistently sensitive, compassionate, and intensely curious, aware that so many people are hurting right now, Ian asked the above question. In doing so, he provided his international audience of millions of listeners with the opportunity to identify and grasp onto even the thinnest silver lining.
I skipped the busy signals and sent Ian my personal answer:
“NEED and WANT are now delineated.”
With social media gurus and advertising agencies shouting at us that it’s not enough to have white teeth, we must marry the hot babe, drive expensive cars, be an entrepreneur/rapper/athlete, our bodies must be perfectly fit, we must not age, just gotta wear this brand, get a bigger paycheck = power = happiness, and don’t forget to raise exceptionally successful children, we can lose sight of what makes us wealthy.
In a maximum-security prison, I learned that I need so little to be happy and I carry that truth with me today. Eloquently taught by the Rabbis in, Ethics of our Fathers, “Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has.”
Being grateful is the path to wealth that doesn’t involve gold:
Trust that whatever is happening is for my benefit.
Recognize that I thrive when I’m needed and be grateful when I’m challenged.
Deep conversations, laughter, and eye contact are like oxygen to me.
A steaming cup of tea is a luxury.
Heck, walking outside to look at the stars is a thrill that I will never, ever take for granted because once I was locked up in a place where we were only allowed to see the night sky during monthly fire drills.
My parents and family wrote love letters to me while I was in prison, declaring their pride for my handling the situation with such grace. (I learned it all from them!)
Imagine if each person in isolation, either alone or in groups, recognized that they are beloved, became aware of the miracle of the tiny flower that grows through the snow, felt truly grateful for comforts such as heat, water, plumbing, internet, and a cozy place to stay out of the path of this virus.
The golden question: What if this temporary pause is the greatest chance I’ll ever have to build myself into the person I am meant to become?