3/13/2020

lessons to be learned

every time that a problem arises, be it on a global scale or something personal, we have to choose how we are going to face it. basically, we can choose among two different approaches. the first one is seeing it as something that, in a way or another, will affect the quality of our life and that will take some of our precious time to be dealt with. the second approach requires some preparedness, but it's nothing too hard to achieve: it consists in considering the problem as an opportunity to learn something new. this means making the most out of a situation of apparent discomfort and turning it into something that will improve our ability to face the constant setbacks of life.
the global alarm for the spreading of covid-19 makes no exception. we can panic for it or we can try to use the situation to improve the quality of our life. choosing the first approach won't lead to anywhere, we will just feel that there's nothing we can actually do, except hoping for the better.  choosing the second one will offer us some good lessons, something precious that will stay with us for the rest of our life. first of all, we have to analyze what we actually fear... i mean, what are the most concrete things that scary the sh*t out of us.
in a case like this one, the first thing may be loosing our health. this type of fear may be extremely strong, as it has always been a part of the story of our evolution. every animal wants to be safe and healthy, and we want it too. okay then, first lesson to be learned: a good part of our ability to stay healthy depends on our immune system. a strong immune system will protect us from many diseases, including viruses. we may get infected, but with a strong immune system our body will be able to overcome the infection. but you can't build a strong immune system in few weeks, as it depends on your lifestyle of the last years. eating accordingly to our nature of primates, exercising a lot and living as physiologically as possible will do the trick. so if you are afraid of getting infected right now by the covid-19, you should know that modifying your lifestyle can actually protect your health and make you stronger.
another thing that may scary us under these circumstances is the economic consequence of global crisis. to make things easier, we can call it simply the fear of loosing everything. there is something that can be made against this type of fear too, but we have to get prepared in time for it. let's image the worst case scenario: we really loose everything, our money, our house, our welfare. we don't have even enough money to feed ourselves. scary, isn't it? well, what we can do is getting used to live with this sentiment in our daily life, and not considering it as a mere consequence of moments of crisis. we don't know the directions our life will take but we can train for expanding progressively our comfort zone adopting, even occasionally, an extremely frugal way of living. do you remember my previous post on this subject? i know that i can sleep outdoors or on the ground without a bed, and i know i can go without eating for some time. i know because from time to time i do both as a form of training, even if i have a bed and some delicious food in the refrigerator. and i know it works.
training our ability to endure adversities isn't all we can do. we can also cultivate the attitude of adopting a positive and proactive approach to the same adversities. for example, we can  find some ways to earn some money using our own skills without too many trappings or complications. that's what i did some years ago, when the business i was into (the music industry) faced the biggest crisis of the last century: i decided to make things simpler, i mean... extremely simpler, and i started busking with acoustic instruments. obviously, making a comparison, my earnings decreased, but little pay is still more than no pay at all and i survived that time too.
we can try another, even more proactive approach, and imitate our ancestors: learning to feed ourselves (at least partially) with the edible vegetation that grows naturally in our area (leaves, fruits, roots). obviously it would be quite hard to survive completely with natural vegetation, as we are not used anymore to a lifestyle like this one, but knowing that we can do it, at least partially and for a given period, will enhance our self-confidence and reduce our level of anxiety and fear. knowing what to eat is a skill that needs to be practiced, but online there's a lot of free information on this subject.
these are the lessons we can learn from fear. fear is a natural feeling and we don't have to underestimate it as a teacher. obviously, to get the most out of it, we have to maintain a rational approach and don't panic, but fear can teach us a lot and help us stay safe.
there is also another lesson that we can learn from the covid-19 emergency, especially for people living in quarantined areas: if forced to stay at home, let's try to enjoy it. i mean, your home is supposed to be the safe shelter you share with your beloved ones and not a prison. so enjoy your stay at home, safe and with the good company of your family. if there is something you don't like in your home or that you don't feel comfortable with, now you have some extra time and the opportunity to make those little changes that will make your staying more pleasurable. with a maybe too easy comparison, we can say that the same goes with your life. use these strange days to check if there's something you don't like in the way you spend your days, considering your daily routine under this new perspective and then find a way to change what you are not comfortable with.
if the corona-virus will actually cause a medical emergency or global crisis, let's try to learn as much as possible from the situation. that's the best thing we can do at the moment.