As I write this, more-or-less the whole of the United States is practicing social distancing. Non-essential businesses are shut down, sporting events and other public gatherings canceled or postponed, and people staying in and maintaining a general self-quarantine.
I don’t think anyone has seen such a thing in their lifetime. It’s like life is utterly on hold, and nobody can say for how long this will need to be the case.
Is this a bad crisis? Is this the end of the world as we know it? That depends on your perspective, frankly.
What IS a crisis?
At dictionary.com, crisis is defined as:
- a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
- a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
- a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.
So, by the literal definition, we are facing a crisis. But also, by that same literal definition, a crisis is not necessarily positive nor negative. It just is.
We most certainly are at a “stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined.”
What many do not fully fathom is that practicing social distancing won’t stop Covid-19 — but will minimize its impact. It is hoped that this practice will lessen exposure and keep the numbers from becoming overwhelming in all the ways that they could.
While this sucks a whole lot — it could be far, far worse. If the current attempts to establish social distancing were not in place, we would be seeing a much higher number of cases — and from there a lot more deaths.
Ergo, as per the definition, this is a turning point. For good or ill? Only time will answer that.
Certainly, this is also “a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.” But you get to decide if you view it as instability or danger. The former, though not necessarily positive, is less negative than the latter.
What it all comes down to is how you perceive this situation. Positive or negative? That’s up to you.
Positive does not mean turning a blind eye to the crisis
A lot of people, because of how society expects things to happen, are incapable of seeing any positive in this situation. There is a terrible, life-threatening virus. All our lives are being impacted by it, even if we don’t get it. The stock market is taking a hit. Businesses will close permanently. People are out of work.
All of this is true. It is not a good thing in any way, shape, or form. But if all our focus and attention is put on these negatives, we only create more negatives and give them more power.
Finding positivity does not disregard, make light of, nor pretend negativity doesn’t exist. It does, and it always will. What it is, however, it an approach to shift focus and empower something you might want over something you definitely do not.
This is what brings us to the “turning point” and the “dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life” portion of the definition of crisis. There is a LOT to be learned from this situation.
You are seeing examples every single day of amazing leadership — as well as some of the worst examples from so-called leaders. People are being kind and considerate alongside people hoarding ludicrous things like toilet paper. There are people offering to look in on those who live alone and those who are hunkering down and avoiding everything and everyone.
The world on the other side of this crisis will be different from where it began. Because change is inevitable — and this is a time of tremendous change — that is a simple unavoidable fact. But what kind of a change it will be depends on you.
Keep in mind — the Chinese word for crisis includes opportunity within its characters.
Be the change you wish to see
A lot of people right now are scared. Confused. Panicky. Uncertain. Nobody has dealt with a situation like this with so many variables and unknowns. To further complicate matters a lot of those in positions of authority are making too little sense or sending mixed and conflicting signals.
You get to choose how you feel. It is up to you to decide how to act in this time of crisis, and whether you will feed the negativity or offer up some positivity. Change is already happening, and you get to choose how you will go along with that.
So be the change you wish to see. Make the choices and decisions during this crisis to improve your life however you can, and further share that with others. Be a beacon of hope to those you care about and help keep this crisis from going from bad to worse.
Choose how and what you can to find yourself on the other side of this crisis as a positive example. Be the best you that you can be and help guide others to be their best, too.
Do you believe the crisis is all negative — or can you help to seek, find, and create positivity within it?
Turn crisis into an opportunity and do what you can to be the change you wish to see.
Finding and creating positivity isn’t hard — but it does require action
Knowing the definition of crisis, you are empowered to choose whether to view this turning point in the world for good or for ill. When you decide to work on finding and creating good and positivity, it can turn crisis into opportunity, and that ultimately empowers you. When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that tends to spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve any number of aspects of your life for the better, generating yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, and we can help find positivity within this crisis.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on March 23, 2020.