By now almost every country has either had cases confirmed within their borders or has set some legal structure in place to battle the spread of the Corona Virus. The United States leads the world with the most cases, currently sitting at over 160K cases confirmed. My twitter feed is saturated with posts about this global pandemic. People are posting about their struggles, their joys, their opinions and occasionally about the facts. It seems this Virus is all that matters right now in the world. But I want to encourage you through this post — there is more to life.
Now it is easy for me to write something in my comfortable house, with my job to go to each day and food in my fridge. But that is not my case, I won’t go into the details here though.
A Matter of Perspective
I recently saw a post about someone complaining that they have lost their job, and they cannot receive any government supplement because their partner earns over the threshold ($70K AUD) and it is very difficult because they have dependents. I saw this, and I wished I was in their shoes. Not only did they have a partner with an income that exceeded the average, but they were also employable with a similar income and had been living on that income in the past. They also owned their own home, and should their income fall lower, they had the security that they could apply for government.
Yet to this person, they had their livelihood drastically reduced and they were concerned about their financial situation. Although my ‘norm’ is still worse than their pandemic crisis situation, I also know there is someone else, who might even be reading this, who would love to simply have a steady job, who would love to have the ability to rent a house with security, or live in a neighborhood where they aren’t concerned about their family’s safety on a daily basis. What I’m trying to say is that many of us who have technology are very well off. In contrast to our friend who lost their job, I’m not missing the times when I had a combined income of $150K. This is because I haven’t had the blessing of experiencing that. This raises a very important point:
“If you miss something, it is because you were fortunate enough to enjoy it in the past.”
It really comes down to your perspective — Instead of thinking, I miss when I had so much income I could live comfortably and put some aside for savings, think, I am so thankful I’ve had the last few years with so much income I didn’t need to worry about my expenses. This shift goes from an ‘Entitled Mindset’ to a ‘Grateful Mindset’.
This will be a very freeing approach because with this view, it doesn’t matter if you were dismissed unjustly, or if you are only a few dollars off receiving government benefits, or if you know someone who earns a lot more and just got another raise. This doesn’t change what you have to be grateful for.
A doctor in India posted something recently on twitter about isolation being a class privilege. This really goes to the core of this post. You have to isolate, because you normally have a free state where you can go anywhere you want. You have to stay at home, because you have a home that is safe and doesn’t have families living there. You have lost your job, because you had a job originally. You have to wash your clothes, because you have a washing machine in your home or a local laundromat. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Everywhere I look I see entitlement, people criticize their government, not realising their open criticism is a privilege for many millions around the world. People have to spend time at home now with the rest of their family. How disappointing…
Sure, some governments may have acted too late, done too little, disregarded widely accepted advice, or simply used this situation to further their own agendas. How is this any different to any other period in time?
A Matter of Focus
Although they should be called to account, the majority of those who are vocal in their criticism are not seeing this situation as unique and are often critical of authority in general. If I had a choice between seeing an individual share what they are thankful for, or seeing an individual criticize everything they think someone has done poorly or different to how they would have done it… well, I think the answer is obvious. The point here is that those of us who have a voice publically, asking one simple question can drastically change how we approach content creation:
“How can I improve the lives of those around me?”
By producing content with this focal point, I think there will be a lot of content which is no longer shared publicly. There is an individual on twitter who I follow for their quality content about blockchain & finance news. However, over the last 4 weeks this individual’s image has changed completely and when I think of government criticism I always think of them, and vice versa, they are an image of someone who is not at peace and will always find disrest. This is quite sad as they will lose a lot of respect and followers.
By asking yourself the question above, you will also inadvertently also resolve the question:
“What do I want to be known for?”
I would actually suggest the above questions should not be limited to those with a public voice. Anyone can adjust their actions to align with their answers to these questions. Imagine how different this world would be if each person was looking to improve the lives around them, rather than focusing on the disappointment around them.
So let me circle back to the title of this article. Yes we are likely to hit 1 million cases of COVID19 in the coming days, this will mean more lockdown, more economic pressure, more isolation. So what…?
Many businesses have realised this and have understood what it means for them as a company. They have continued to push their service, trying to achieve their goals, but have adapted to the situation. So let’s do this collectively as well, we might not be able to meet people in mass, but let’s all focus on how we can improve other’s lives around us, what we have to be thankful for and get excited about the future beyond COVID19!
We need to take responsibility for ourselves and those in our care, we each need to treat the virus as serious and heed the restrictions put in place by our local governments. But we don’t need to dwell on these things, for everything story there is another side, a positive side. This is not to diminish the difficult times many are in, nor is it to belittle the grief of those who have lost loved ones. But let’s be encouraging to others, let’s move forward with our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. I am personally excited to see you all on the other side.