Starting the year 2020, you and I had different expectations. We thought we would go on a boat cruise and be flying the business class to meetings and conferences. Many argued that it’s the end of a decade and the beginning of another. Everywhere was full of the garboil as regards the beginning of another decade, this was so loud on the religious streets.

What life got for us is what we cannot resist. Either you are teaching fellow humans how to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly or someone taught you the same. Maybe none of us envisaged that the next 10 years is another defining moment of our lives and careers, it’s the most critical years any of us will live through.

Recent weeks and the time you have woken up in it will be a bookmark in history for generations to come. The fact, fiction, and fear of the COVID-19 pandemic have really been a sad one. Many believed the notion it’s a cold war, the battle of ideologies or supremacy between the Asian giant and the Land of Liberty with no military or combatant tension. Another school of thought came out from the blues, it is a distraction for the consolidation of the new world order towards the testing of the 5G network.

Regardless of all these, have you ever thought it could be a test of behavior? How our interconnectedness is as human. When it all started in Wuhan, China. We heard about it but we feel unconcern because it has not gotten to us. Attitude! Nature now taught us that regardless of your race, skin color and beliefs; humans are closer to one another than they can imagine, in less than 3 months, almost every nation of the earth is scampering for help. Can we redefine humanity?

We need to understand we all are humans before color, religion, tribe, and culture divided us.

With the surrounding fact, most of the way to avoid the extension of this terrible time is to wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, don’t pick your nose with hands, don’t touch your mouth and eye indiscriminately, use hand sanitizer and clean surfaces regularly. All these are hygienic practices we should observe without enforcement. But our daily lifestyle is put into a test.

Our humanity thread seems to have been cut off; this terrible time is also precious, it has shown us the unjust nature of our behavior to mother earth and humanity; we have the chance to tie these two edges and weave a different story. Now is the time to create a new future.

We were told to observe physical distance from others most especially the aged. It feels like human relations is been threatened. But, have you thought about it that Physical distancing is never social isolation? Now is time to strengthen human relations. Now is the time to care because we are not so much isolating as taking care of each other. A little act of kindness or a show of concern is the biggest act of solidarity we have known: for the vulnerable and the venerable, the health workers and the caregivers, the sick and the strong. Take care of yourself, those you love and those who love you. But also become aware of the people you never meet but whose lives are shaped by the actions you take. Care about them too! We are being taught the uncompromising lesson that we are all connected.

If we understand this interconnection, the next chapter will be kinder to everyone.

According to Tom Rippin in his letter to the Gratitude, he said now is the time to face up to reality because, for too many people, the reality is tough right now. As the hospitals’ flood, the dole queues will swell, and the food banks, counseling services, and women’s shelters will be overwhelmed as well. For many, reality has been tough for a long time. This is not a new reality; it is just becoming a reality for many more people. Take time to understand the realities of others. Break your bubble, put down your assumptions. Everyone’s situation matters because all our realities are interconnected. We are being taught a lesson in understanding the realities of others.

If we try to understand the reality of others, we can write a future that works for all. Don’t judge. To some, lockdown or stay at home is not a period to gain new skills; it a season to fight for surviving, surviving this time is a skill on its own. If you are not doing online courses like your colleagues you are not lazy, just understand your reality and know this is not the time to work your life on other people’s time table. It the best time to spread HOPE.

Even the rich needs hope now. Spread hope with your kindness, with your words, with your actions. Ground your hope in gratitude, feed it with determination and test it, every day, against reality. If you do this, your hope will never be naïve. It can be the most infectious force we know. We are being taught the lesson that we all have the responsibility to hope. If we trust in the power of hope, we will find a path to where we need to go.


Research and Communications Department.

Last modified: June 21, 2021