“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl
While so many people have been laid off, furloughed or working from home, I couldn’t help but think how men and woman in uniform are going to work.
They are answering calls as if nothing has changed.
The circumstances of our new life provide unique opportunities for growing into the people we should be.
What is happening is a reminder that we are finite creatures. No longer does the world of sports, social media or anything from Hollywood seem important. The real priorities are emerging; families and neighbors are becoming paramount, even if we’re not sure exactly what we can do when we’re together.
Let’s leave aside questions of how bad a health crisis COVID-19 is – or is not – and whether our politicians are responding to it or capitalizing on it for political gain.
How we respond to this crisis is within our power to control. That is what makes a difference for us individually and those in our circle of influence. By following the values I was taught as a child, I use the gift of this opportunity to become the person I ought to be. This is the way I do my part for the greater good and myself.
THE SILVER LININGS
I am seeing numerous silver linings in this bizarre world. The restaurants, bars, movie theatres, gyms, and most everything else closed. So, I wrote down a list of ideas of things we can do with our families. First, start taking better care of yourself. Be at least as good to yourself as you are to your pet(s). You are no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS:
- Get enough sleep.
- Drink more water.
- Eat healthier today so you will feel better tomorrow.
- Be more aware of your spouse’s needs.
- Enjoy the incredible blessing of being around your children.
- Serve others in need, a family member, a neighbor, etc.
- Clean your house, your garage, your car.
- Start a garden.
- Plant a tree.
- Build something you’ve always wanted.
- Appreciate the small things in life more than you have.
- Notice the beauty in slowing the pace of your life down.
- Go for a walk with your family.
- Focus on what’s in front of you.
- Do something behind the scenes to make your spouse’s life easier.
- Send a note to someone you haven’t talked to.
- Have a picnic with your family in the backyard.
- Be serious about minimizing distractions.
- Silence your phone for a part of your day.
- Do some yard work that you’ve been putting off.
- Clean out junk drawers in your house.
- Clean your garage of “stuff” that you never use.
- Stop doing things that make you sluggish.
- Have that conversation with your children that you’ve put off.
- Enjoy this opportunity to do things with your family.
- Have a meal delivered to a friend who is going through a stressful time.
- Check on a neighbor who lives alone.
Don’t forget the oath we took about service to others! Focus on helping – not hunting – at work. Go out of your way to help someone daily. Check on the elderly people you know on your beat.
Mark Reinecke, a psychologist and clinical director at the Child Mind Institute in San Mateo, CA agrees that “optimism, hope and tenacity” are necessary for getting through any challenge, however dire it may be.
Reinecke went on to say, “By forcing us into our homes, this pandemic has made our world small. We’re pressed into reconnecting in a more intimate, thoughtful manner. We’re pressed to enjoy simple experiences and activities. “Above all, this experience can teach all of us a valuable life skill: resilience.”
Let us be mindful of the countless people who are also serving: the doctors, nurses, 911 call takers, dispatchers, garbage men, grocery store employees, truck drivers and coffee shop employees are just some of those we often take for granted.
Let us be grateful that during this time we can serve others and get paid for it.
That is the gift our job gives to us.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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