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We will learn from this: When Coronavirus passes, we have to remain the best version of ourselves

Blog - Mar 25, 2020

Yesterday I received a short film titled “Message from the virus.” It says enough with the planes, trains, shopping malls, business meetings… it says we should stop and listen to common sense. We shouldn’t be acting like gods, we should break the endless cacophony of messages. We suffer, we are not well, we destroy the land, cities are sinking, forests are burning, and nobody listens.
Our foundations are going under. Now everything is coming back to us, we have been attacked by a force that has to restore balance. We should look at the sky where there are no more planes, look at the oceans that may be cleaner for the first time, look at ourselves because we cannot be healthy in a sick ecosystem. The movie ends with the message that we shouldn’t be afraid and we should listen, because if we do that, we will be fine.

This message is strong, clear – nature is returning the favor for all our negligence, and it goes a step further – it teaches us a lesson. Ten days ago we were all running in a whirlwind of appointments, meetings, calls, everything was important, urgent. We did not devote ourselves enough to our friends, partners, children, parents, and above all we hadn’t been devoted to ourselves. Now we’re forced to do that.

The Corona virus will teach us a lot.

It will teach us to stand still, to stop. It will teach us that we need to get some sleep and rest, so we can be ready for a new day.

It will teach us to be less selfish, to pause and ask others how they are, it will teach us not to empty the stores unnecessarily, not to invite friends over coffee so we could run a monologue about ourselves, that we should teach our children to share instead of just shrugging when they won’t give the ball to the other child.

It will teach us to prioritize, it will teach us that we don’t need the 106th pair of new shoes. It will teach us to appreciate books and the written word.

The whole world can listen to operas from the Metropolitan New York, performances by the Berlin Philharmonic. It will teach us to enjoy music and make it accessible to everyone.

The whole world can visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Pergamon in Berlin, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
It will remind us that we have forgotten what art is, in a world of kitsch, and thrash, in a world where anyone can occupy “public” space simply because they have a social media account.

It will bring us back to our homes. It will lock us up with the children we raised and the partners we chose. It will teach us to work with our children more if we haven’t been devoted enough. It will teach us to re-educate the kids we pampered and made too dependent. It will teach us to find once again that what made us choose our partners and why we came to love them. And some may finally learn that it’s time to say goodbye.

It will teach us who our true friends are. It will teach us that we don’t have to see each other often, if we only think of each other and send support. That a living word cannot be replaced. It will teach us to let go of each other, and not to force it if it doesn’t work. It will teach us not to stay in a relationship that burdens us and from which we cannot get anything positive.

But it will teach us to ignore some of the conflicts caused by our vanity, hastiness, fear, or anger.

It will teach us that we need to listen, actively, that monologue is no longer valuable.

It will teach us to value invisible people: cashiers, delivery boys, couriers, call center workers. The ones that hold the systems like small, tight screws.

Corona doesn’t choose color, race, sexual orientation, we’re all the same for this virus. We will be taught to be more tolerant.

But the virus seems to choose age.

That is why it will teach us to have more respect for our elders, for their experience and knowledge that we now need more than ever.

It will teach us to appreciate the efforts of our parents, grandparents, and to better understand what they went through as they raised us. How they managed in times of wars, economic isolation, sanctions, bombing. How brave they were and showed no dismay.

But most of all, it will teach us to go back to ourselves and realize that we can be with ourselves. And that is perhaps the most important lesson we will all learn. It doesn’t really help us if we don’t learn at least one important lesson. With or without Corona.

Because the Corona will pass. And we remain, hopefully, as better versions of ourselves.

Author

Jelena Mikić

Head of Development (Represent System)

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