What Good Comes From A Global Pandemic?

So how is life going in your quarantined world? What are you learning about yourself?

With all this time to be at home, enjoying a less scheduled life, I’ve become more reflective.

The news cycle is packed with information about the devastating health and economic effects of COVID-19 across the globe. I’m rationing my exposure and intake from the external sources, instead of focusing on the possible up-side of this experience.

I believe good can come from horrible circumstances.

Here are a few of my observations and what positive outcomes are possible:

  • Parents and teenagers out walking or biking together, sans technology! What if this concentrated time together reminds everyone that they like hanging out. We have learned things about one another, talked about topics other than chores, homework, and logistics, and discovered common interests, which connect us on a deeper level.
  • Because we’ve been unable to meet up physically with one another, we realize the importance of actual face-time. I think there is a re-discovery of the importance of building relationships by spending time together beyond social media. The emotional intelligence muscles get exercised more fully. We become more aware of body language and tap into that critical source of communication.
  • Global pandemics create a common experience, leveling the playing field a bit. We see celebrities at home and realize, ‘they are not that different than me.’ Watching late-night shows, broadcasting via Zoom makes it feel like just another conference call I’ve been on all day. Amazing what the absence of celebrity hair and make-up personnel can do for our self-esteem. People are people, and perhaps, we become more accepting and appreciative of who we are, vs. idolizing those we don’t even know.
  • We are all feeling some sort of loss. Some losses are more significant than others. We are going through a grieving process for that loss, and people grieve differently. Perhaps we will shift our focus from ME to WE and increase our ability to demonstrate EMPATHY. We may even recognize we have much for which to be grateful and show GRATITUDE.
  • Recognition of the every-day heroes who live among us. While I’ve always admired the work of doctors, nurses, and other first-responders, I’ve not thought of them as patriots. I do now. They are the soldiers on the front-line battling for our survival. Putting their lives on the line every day they leave their home. If you are bored and feeling trapped in the comfort of your home, remember you can demonstrate patriotism too by abiding by the quarantine and social distancing guidelines. Consider how to use your time to support those on the front line. It’s a tangible way to show gratitude.

I’ll close with a quote from a basketball icon, John Wooden:

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

We don’t know how all this will turn out. We do know, life will forever be different.

One of the differences I expect is that I’ll be on the look-out for examples of positive outcomes. Keen awareness requires me to sharpen my observation skills and stay present and mindful.

How about that? I’ve got more time now for reflection and, as a result, am developing a productive habit.

A positive outcome already realized!

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at mduesterhoft@people-results.com.