This post is my response to a thought provoking question posed by our Head of School with reference to the COVID pandemic –
‘In your mind, time-travel to 2021 when the pandemic is over and some normalcy has returned. Picture yourself having come through it all in a way you feel proud of, grateful for or fulfilled by. What story will you tell’
When we cannot control our circumstances, what can we control?
We are faced with an unprecedented challenge – an unseen, unheard of enemy has confined us to our homes for an as yet undetermined period. However, we have to move beyond a sense of helplessness, and tap into a uniquely human reservoir of resilience and adaptability.
Every challenge is an opportunity to grow and to learn something new – the story I will tell is of the resilience we found in ourselves, the ability discovered to not only cope but also tend to others, the capacity to feel joy in the silence around, broken only by the chirping of birds, and the perspective to empathize that there is always someone not in as good a situation as we still are.
Attitude, attitude, attitude….I have become an even stronger believer that my way of thinking or feeling about any circumstances – is what will see me through.
‘How can I teach when I am so far from my students’ versus ‘Let me embrace this virtual world and use the learning community to construct new learning models’
‘I am stuck at home’ versus ‘I am safe at home’
‘I have to cook the whole day’ versus ‘I have the time and the opportunity to feed my family and keep them healthy and happy’
‘My children are being forced to mop and clean utensils’ versus ‘They are learning skills that will stand them in good stead in future’
During this time there is still so much to be grateful for – bonding time with my family, the sunsets I am able to witness, the clear blue skies, this break from the daily routine to reignite a lost love for reading, cooking. I am also so grateful to be a teacher – this is what is keeping me sane in these trying times. Top companies and industries have been shut down – but the education sector adapts and continues to deliver – proving that we can live without most things, but the human spirit cannot and will not stop learning. As a teacher I myself had to learn a new way of delivering – I developed the attributes of being a communicator by delivering lessons through a variety of modes of communication and by effectively collaborating with others, and being caring as I displayed a sense of personal commitment to my chosen profession, and acted to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
I am changed by this experience in the true realization of what I really cannot live without – and it is not the material things, the house help, the busyness of my daily life. Rather, I now appreciate even more deeply the importance of sustainable living (I pledge to shop for need and not greedJ), the place in my heart my students hold – the positive energy and innocence that they touch me with every single day, my colleagues who have become my second family and who make my life more meaningful by encouraging me in putting all efforts to become the best version of myself that I can!
I conclude with Carl Sagan’s words which lend much needed perspective –
‘Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.’
Let’s take this opportunity to learn to live a more meaningful, impactful and sustainable life!