Summary: Four Perspective Ideas for Keeping Eyes on The Prize During Covid-19 and Beyond - as seen through the experience of a 92 year old woman.
Just as the episodes of the Amazon series, The Man in the High Castle, had shown, perspective and the decisions made as a result, decided the course of actions that were taken and the consequences that resulted.
Miracle Cure, perspective? Webster’s Dictionary defines “perspective” (noun) as “a way of regarding situations or topics; view, position.” Depending on where one comes from, this is either the worst or best of times. Diverse generational histories seem to continue in the same way. One generation does not always understand the perspective of the other; indeed, sometimes never. On the other hand, for some, as they progress in chronological age, find this gap in understanding lessens. Knowledge Sharing among different age groups is important to build a perspective beyond our own self’s strengths and those things we cannot see because we have not yet lived them.
This is not a reflective debate of whether or not to stay quarantined at home—“freedom” vs “no freedom.” It is, rather, a perspective on perspective through the story of a 92 year old woman. Aside from all of the noise and debates about freedoms, economy, and masks (to name a few), let’s put ourselves in check about our current condition through the lens of a woman, 92 years of age, who employed these perspectives--her "miracle cure," if you will:
1) We have more resources now than generations before us who have gone through difficult times;
2) Internal resiliency to live your life within (and in spite of) external circumstances;
3) Looking forward to the New—Reinvention; and
4) Consequences or actions as a result of choices due to internal and external factors.
We’re now in 2020, and the generation that survived a cataclysmic, man-made, ego-driven event (World War II) are nearly gone with the ages, with the exception of the few remaining here with us, now in their 8th or 9th decade of life. A friend I know is one of them: a 92 year old, whose friends call her Lou. She is not afraid of the virus—but has a healthy “bio-hacking” lens.
Lou is keeping herself safe, given what she knows and understands. She is not placing a priority on life’s hankerings for indulgences, nor is she worried that her hair won’t be cut until the economy “reopens.” These are minor inconveniences, but all her choice. At the beginning of this whole Coronavirus pandemic, going back to January, her words never changed: “If it comes here, I’m not afraid.” Her words do not come from bravado, although, for someone who stands under 5'0", she is, as her late husband said, “a tough broad.”
MORE RESOURCES THAN THOSE BEFORE US
Her words speak of struggle and perspective—a time when death was all around her. Many folks were prisoners of war (her late husband included). Many more were killed because of race or religion or some other narcissistic power viewpoints. When families were separated, they did not have technology to assist them to reconnect or connect while they traveled. They didn’t have the opportunity to touch hands through glass while seeing the images of loved ones, nor, were medical advancements (some may say no advancements) available. We've got our social media and the internet. We've got 24/7 knowledge at our fingertips and on-the-go, to name a few. In fact, a celebration of Lou’s birthday recently was done via a Zoom call. She was so happy to see her loved ones. Quite a difference for her as her past did not allow this type of connection with her family.
Lou—bless her heart—still feels she had it easy before. Again, her perspective, but you may view it differently when reading her history.
Her father left Lithuania when she was barely two years old, to find a better life in Canada. She never saw him again. The few times she has spoken about him, the pain was clearly evident in her eyes.
When she was barely 13, she and her mother and brother fled Lithuania. The Soviets (today's Russians) had invaded her country, instituted laws that were meant to eradicate her country, her culture and her language. What little she had (including her dog) were left behind and she made her way into Nazi-occupied Poland. There, she was placed in a refugee camp, not knowing the language, and just a wee bit more hospitable than the Soviet-run home she left.
As Soviets advanced toward Germany, she made her way west. She found herself in Dresden. She was there in February 1945. If you run a Google search on Dresden 1945, you'll understand what this meant. By sheer luck, she was held in a boxcar with other refugees near a train depot on the outskirts of town. Ask her what the heat of phosphorus bombs and the resulting firestorm only a couple of kilometers away from ground zero felt like, coming through the cracks in the boxcar walls.
LOOKING FORWARD - REINVENTION
She left Germany in the 1950's, to come with her husband, child, and mother to a country where, again, she didn't know the language. Using the tools of television and necessity, she learned English, to add to her portfolio of linguistic talents. She started a life with her husband, and while she can’t say it was the American Dream come true, it was (and still is) a good life.
Keep this in perspective. COVID-19 is what it is. It seems to be worse than the flu. According to certain reports, it also is contributing to other debilitating ailments that, if you have the misfortune of contracting the disease, and good fortune of surviving, will provide you with a constant reminder for the rest of your life. We don't know who's carrying it and who is spreading it. Worse than that, we may have prolonged the pandemic, abdicating responsibility with plenty of blame to go around. But we have social networks. We have connections that still keep a bare thread between us, despite social distancing.
Think about a teenage girl, separated from her mother and brother, making her way through a war-ravaged continent, constantly finding herself to be a stranger in a strange land. No real resources, except for the internal spirit to persevere—resiliency, looking ahead to what was in front of her to do; in a word: reinventing.
And yet...and YET...she persevered. She has maintained a wry sense of humor. And she's not frightened, except for, maybe, running out of toilet paper.
Keep things in perspective. CONSEQUENCES
Perspective IS the miracle cure. The more you keep things in perspective and empathize with those who have walked this Earth before you and still do so with you, the less manic the world appears. Think of those who have had different kinds of hardships. They have walked the talk and, in many instances, continue to do so with perspective and resiliency. Whether you are part of that group demanding to open up the economy, or staying at home to “flatten the curve,” your journey on how to handle the current state is your history to be written.
One reinvention, or favorable consequence, if you will, is that the air is much easier to breathe. Mother Nature is getting a break from us wreaking havoc on the only home we have (and in a battle between Pachamama and human beings, my money’s always going to be on Pachamama. Don't believe it? Watch the video below).
Beyond this, there is noise reduction, less fuel consumption, and companies are finally realizing that brick and mortar is not necessary to retain employees, to hire folks with “disabilities," and to be even more productive.
Again, keep your eyes on the prize—LIFE with Health and Well-Being. Most of all DON'T PANIC! Perspective. That’s the key. We are not living in rubble, actual rubble!
The human spirit in its truest form understands that we are more than a job and economics. They’re a means to an end, but let’s not make it our end. Don’t live a life that is always saying “the sky is falling!” We have enough of that sort of messaging bombarding us to kill our spirit and what is really our true LIFE. Yes, it appears the world has been created with a construct of jobs to pay bills. In juxtaposition, you don’t need a job if you’re dead. In between, this will all filter itself out, and as it has time and time again, history has shown us this way. We have the answers and know the truth. Don’t let programming shut out your true instincts!
If a 4' 10", nonagenarian lady with a bright smile and a heavy eastern European accent doesn't sweat it after her previous life experiences, neither should we. She keeps her eyes on the Prize.
Keep your eyes on the prize/gift - LIFE.
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