The world has change. 2020 grabbed us by surprise, and most things we took for granted or felt entitled to, were suddenly out of our reach. So how do we react or adapt to this new reality thrust on us humans? As we moved out of quarantine, emotions ran at a full range, from denial, trying to recapture a comfort zone, gone amidst the uncertainty of a world entangled in a pandemic, to acceptance, realising with philosophical calmness that the only certainty is uncertainty.
Adaptability and flexibility are powerful tools to develop as the infamous virus is unleashed and changing the ways we work and interact with others. This tiny, invisible to the eye invader is pushing us to analyse and learn how to live and thrive in a post pandemic world, exposing in the process cracks in the system, and highlighting social inequalities that cannot longer be ignored. Or can they? Will we forget what we have learnt during this time of self-isolation, and in an act of selective memory pretend that all systems are now running normal? Or will we rise to the challenge and become more aware and conscious of our impact in the natural world and our social environment? Will social awareness develop? Or will we continue to live like there is a planet B?
By focusing our efforts in developing appreciation in what it is and what we have in our lives instead of focusing in the things that are missing, we are given steps in the right direction. This sense of appreciation will help us to raise our energy and move from fear into hope, hence from problem to solution, as once our flight-or-fight reaction is put to rest, our creative minds take over and solutions start to take shape. From the compassionate resilience tool box we can take a few lessons and prepare for the changes yet to come, but how do we cultivate resilience? In her book ‘The gifts of imperfection’ Brené Brown wrote:
“Five of the most common factors of resilience people are:
1. Resourceful, good problem-solving skills.
2. They are more likely to seek help.
3. They believe that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and cope.
4. They have social support.
5. They are connected to others (family or friends)”
We are more connected now than we were before, not just because the world has been unified under a common perceived threat, but because in the absence of what we took for granted, we learnt the meaning of appreciation. Let us now expand that learning.