5 months ago, I remember sitting at a cafe in Sydney with one of my closest friends and thinking about how this particular cafe could make a bunch of small changes that would make its atmosphere so much nicer to be in. I critiqued the lights, I critiqued the tables, I critiqued the coffee and I left almost no stone unturned.
Flash forward to now, April 2020, and I would absolutely love the opportunity to sit back in that cafe. The lights wouldn’t matter, the tables could stay completely the same and the coffee is just a bonus. The reason I enjoy cafes at all is because they present the opportunity to be with friends and relax. With everything going on around us right now, being with friends and relaxing is not much of an option anymore. Not physically, at least.
However, that isn’t to say the world is ending. Within all the hysteria, isolation and uncertainty, there is one thing that has, does and will always remain: hope. Here is why.
1. This isn’t our first rodeo.
In our time on this planet, our species have done quite a bit of moving and shaking when it comes to enduring life-threatening events. Diseases account for a lot of these events throughout our history. Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika Virus, and SARS are just a couple off the top of my head. Through all these, we have emerged stronger, better prepared and more designed to deal with disaster than ever. This pandemic will be no different. It is difficult, it is scary, and it requires change but we will come out the other side ready to build a better world.
2. There is so much good around us!
Crowding ourselves with negativity right now will not serve us or any of the people we are still able to be around. Take a second to intentionally notice the good news! Take a second to watch John Krasinski’s ‘Some Good News’ or the @goodnews_movement on Instagram. These two channels, like countless others, are working to bring positivity back to the world stage and introduce some light back to our media platforms. Take a second to choose what news you digest.
3. We can reflect on how good we had it.
Just like I did at the cafe, we tend to spend a lot of our time thinking about what is going wrong - not what is going well. The world we had before this pandemic is the stimulus for the world we build after it. Let’s shift our mind to think of what was great about our lives, even if it wasn’t perfect. It could be a big event you have nostalgia of or it could be something small like catching up for coffee. Whatever that thing is for you, take some time to appreciate it and aim to make more of it happen as we begin to return to a state of normality.
4. This. Is. Not. Permanent.
Every day is different to the last. Tomorrow will be new and the day after that as well. If we band together and weather the storm, we will come out of this better than ever. I know it is difficult to keep reminding yourself that everything happening has an expiry date but it does. This too shall pass.
So in the end…
We are in this together. This journey is one that has lots of bumps in the road and lots of twists and turns but it is one that we will emerge from stronger than ever, both individually and together. Do one small thing today to help someone around you. Send one message to someone you really care about to let them know you are there. I’m hopeful for our world because I’ve weathered storms before and I’m ready to weather them again. But that hope only comes alive because I choose it to.
It’s time for you to choose to be hope-filled too.