In this year unlike any other, it seems everything has changed.
Our life is no longer like that of yesterday and the lives of our children even less so.
Little by little we’re almost growing accustomed to this new normal, where so many parts of our usual routines are missing. Nothing is certain any more.
We ask ourselves repeatedly about the future.
How long will it last?
Will everything go back to how it was before?
And above all, will we be the same?
But if you’re looking for the constructive side of this unprecedented and disconcerting time, could this maybe be an opportunity to re-evaluate our values?
The social isolation experienced by tens of thousands of people Europe-wide can be used to reflect on and rethink our routines. Routines that, up until a few months ago, we followed like robots, swept up in life’s hectic pace; a life we’ve always had.
Being forced to take a break has made us reflect on time, and the time we’ve often lost track of whilst running our crazy, everyday races.
We would run around for everything.
At a speed we’re only now coming to realise. Without ever enjoying a moment. Except for rare occasions, not always seized.
All of a sudden, we’re spending several hours every day with our children or partners, showing us that in reality, in this hyper-connected world, we have barely any communication with those around us.
The virus has shown us that it’s also possible to work from home. However difficult. Even with children.
It has opened our eyes to just how pointless and expensive daily commutes are, adding up to hours and hours wasted in most of our sprawling cities.
It has reduced carbon emissions, with a sudden drop in traffic at all levels: land, air and sea. And the result is right before our eyes: a huge improvement in air quality like never before, even in big cities.
When we make it out, we’ll no doubt appreciate this. And maybe, who knows, each one of us will start working towards reducing their consumption in their everyday lives, contributing to saving the planet, for the future of our children.
We are finally appreciating the value of slow conversation, chatting unhurriedly.
The power of a hug. The importance of real contact, not virtual.
Another value we’ve come to understand in these months of complete uncertainty is the importance of not breeding negativity through unconfirmed rumours or disrespectful comments shared on social media.
What we all need at this time are messages of hope. Of optimism. Of light-heartedness. Of affection. To be brave, to together find the strength to carry on, in the belief that it will pass.
But the most important thing we’re taking home over these months is, I think, realising the importance of sharing.
Each one of us can offer something to those around us. Each one of us can be an asset for the greater good.
By making even just a small contribution to those who reach out, as people, as citizens, as professionals, we’ll be the best living example for our children.