“Understanding suffering is the way to salvation because once you understand it, you have compassion, and the next thing you know, you are free.”
- Jim Carrey, actor, producer, and writer
Knowing myself, it was not very hard to cope with the initial confinement. I could get up normally, there was no rush to get to the office, and I knew my loved ones were safe. Eventually, that essence of functionality began to waver; I became either obsessed with work or demotivated as time started to pass slowly. The more I tried to grasp the situation, the more it hit me. Nature does not want us here. We are killing the earth. We are abusing it. The thoughts came and went.
Then, I began to see news of animals roaming around freely and the ozone layer mending itself. It seemed that all the earth needed was a little timeout from the human race. Perhaps you too should consider a timeout, for yourself, and the planet you call home.
This is a distressing time for all of us, and being positive about life is a little difficult. We can only move forward now by keeping ourselves alive and well. Finding positivity is crucial right now to survive. In one of the webinars organized by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center, a speaker talked about how we should always find positivity in this trying time.
We can communicate positivity. Through positivity, we can also convey hope and offer solutions to persisting individual, social, or national problems. It can be just a small text to someone close, a call to a friend whom you haven’t reached out in many years, or greeting a neighbor on social media.These little tokens of appreciation can go a long way, and help people to recover themselves from the negativity surrounding us at present.
We can offer help to others. Many organizations have been distributing food to low-income communities to alleviate their suffering during this time. There are people who are feeding street animals so that they are not left behind to die. We all have limitations in our positions, but we can help by donating a small amount for the cause. Because little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Or we can help those who are living close to us, our neighbors, or our caretakers.
We have to have a positive mindset to navigate these uncharted waters. Engage with work and take some time out for yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Spend time with your family and get that game board that has been collecting dust all these years. If you are far away from your loved ones, have a chat at least once a day. You cannot make others happy if you do not exercise it yourself.
How can we transform the negative feelings of isolation into positive feelings of hope? In a session on BYLC’s Career Conversations, Zara Mahbub, CEO of Kazi IT Center Ltd., shared a beautiful outlook on staying positive through the very word QUARANTINE.
Q – Quality time with your family. Turn every activity into a fun group activity with your family members. In the process, younger ones in the family can learn responsibility and come out of this quarantine as a stronger individual.
U – Utilize every minute of the quarantine on positive actions. Plan and organize your life as you would like to see it now and after the quarantine is over. Think of this time period as a rehearsal before the final show.
A – Align your thoughts and perspective. You can do this by recalibrating, exercising, meditating, and praying. This is a great time to shift gears and refocus on our spiritual side.
R – Reach out to others in need. A small contribution from you can make a huge difference in someone else’s life.
A – Ask others how they are. Spend some time connecting with your close and extended family and friends. It doesn’t matter when you last spoke to them; drop a message now, and reconnect with them.
N – Need vs want. This is a good time to evaluate if we can survive without the things we want and instead focus on the things that we need. The prime question to ask ourselves is whether our ‘wants’ are necessary for a happier and healthier life.
T – Take time out. If you are not working from home or have online classes, don’t feel guilty to do the things that you have always wanted to indulge in. You can sleep in, binge watch your favorite show, or reorganize your personal space.
I – Identify Important things in your life. Sit back and think about what really matters.
N – Note down the important things in life. Write down your goals and how you plan to achieve them with a checkbox to each action item. Give yourself a timeline.
E – Evolve into a better version of yourself. Be someone who cares for themselves and for their loved ones. Most importantly, evolve into a being that truly loves this planet, its creatures, and its blessings.
You can decide what this life will mean to you and the people around you. You are an idea that makes up your presence. You are all the roles you play in this life. How you choose to deal with this time will ensure the result that comes afterwards.