Even though the pandemic is not over, I’ve found myself asking the following questions: What have you learned from this time of crisis that you want to carry with you into the future? What do you want to leave behind?
In my last blog post I mentioned SIMPLICITY as the first thing I want to carry with me into the future. The second is authentic CONNECTION with other people. All of us spent a great deal of time in isolation, especially during the first months of the pandemic. Even for an introvert like me, it was very disorienting. Like everyone else, I learned to navigate the world of ZOOM meetings, WhatsApp video chats and the like. But they were definitely a poor substitute for genuine human contact.
Now that I’m vaccinated, I’ve been able to safely meet with friends and family who are vaccinated as well. Hugs have been long and heart-felt. Conversations have been deeper. These visits are holy moments that have improved my mood tremendously. They’ve also helped me to realize what a gift it is to have these kinds of moments in our lives.
With this in mind, I want to carry into the future the value of authentic CONNECTION with other people. When I’m with family and friends, I want to give them my full attention and appreciation. My cell phone will stay in my pocket. I will try to not be distracted by other things, especially thoughts about what I need to do when our visit is over.
It also means I want to leave behind superficial interactions and conversations. Life is short. I’m not getting any younger, Therefore, I want to make the time I spend with others count. This also means I want to spend less time with people who are soul-sucking instead of life-giving. (We all have them in our lives.) I just don’t want to give them the energy it takes to sustain a relationship with them. The pandemic has helped me to separate my true friends from my acquaintances. And these days, I’m very careful with whom I invite into my circle of friends.
What lessons have you learned during this pandemic?
Blessed be! David T.