Every person in the world is more than ready to say good bye to such an unsettling year. The great upheaval brought about by the pandemic worldwide pushed us to take a hard look at how we live our lives.
We all shifted and will definitely be never the same again. In retrospect, there were valuable insights and lessons learned amidst the greatest disruption we all experienced.
Precious moments with family and friends
With face to face interaction becoming a risky activity, physical distancing put a strain on relationships. We connected with online meetings, celebrations, and events which made it bearable for family and friends. Communication was only through phones, tablets, and computers.
The lack of physical contact made everyone exert more effort to check on each other and see how everyone was doing. When restrictions eased a bit and travel was allowed again, every actual visit took on more value. Hugs were tighter and kisses became more meaningful.
Those who lived together on the other hand had to learn to live together 24/7. Some unfortunately could not withstand the stress resulting to broken marriages. Many however were able to find creative ways of making the time together special and fun.
One family bonding moment that became very popular was doing TikTok videos. It was amusing to see kids, teens, parents, and grandparents display their knack for dancing. Some even shared home hacks for almost everything.
We can do this together
The truth of the phrase "no man is an island" was more obvious as people came together and formed communities. When different resources became difficult to find, people within their towns and cities started offering various products and services. Through the help of social media, communities emerged in subdivisions, villages, barangays, municipalities, and cities.
There was not much reason to go outside one's neighborhood as the community answered the needs of its people. It is heartwarming to see and experience generosity and kindness in the middle of the most difficult of times.
With nowhere to go to and people to meet, life became basic. Our closets full of clothes, shoes, accessories, gadgets, and trinkets we could not live without pre-pandemic remained untouched for almost a year. We realized many of the things we owned were not really necessary for our survival.
In a virtual world, all we need are an internet connection, a phone or tablet or a computer to keep in touch with family and friends, do our jobs and errands, and get things done. Going out of the confines of our homes meant that it was most essential and required a personal appearance.
Many found going back to basics like growing plants as a stress reliever and a rewarding experience as they saw their plant babies flourish. Thus, the rise of plant enthusiasts or plantitos and plantitas.
Stephen Covey shared many years ago what he calls "The 90/10 Principle." In a nutshell, there is a 10% that we can't control in life - things that are happening around us, i.e. accidents, traffic, people's decisions and actions, social and economic crises, etc. There is however a 90% that we have control over - our reaction and response to the 10%.
Responding to the crisis we faced with fear and panic only led to confusion and loss of peace of mind. People shifted their focus from themselves and the uncertainty of the times to new hobbies like exercise, baking, cooking, handicrafts, gardening which eventually led some to start businesses.
Putting one's mind to creative and productive things helped many to stay sane and even thrive in an impossible situation. There were many who found new ways to earn a living thinking outside of the box. Testimonies of new business successes were seen on mass and social media as people pivoted and adapted to the new normal.
Holding onto One stronger than ourselves
The public and private institutions we relied on heavily were shaken this year as they themselves confronted the unpredictability of the pandemic. Everyone was finding their own footing.
There was truly no way to steady ourselves except to anchor to Him who is unshakeable and immovable. It is not far off to think that God used the pandemic to draw people's attention to what really matters in life. We now know that when every thing we find security in is removed, it is God that continues to remain.
As we close the final chapter of 2020, it is my prayer that:
Hope will rise within you
Love will fuel you
Perseverance will move you
Grace will humble you
Kindness will overwhelm you
Joy will strengthen you
Peace will follow you
Wisdom will guide you
Faith will embolden you
We may not see or feel it, but great things are in store for us in 2021. Gear up for the best is yet to come.