One of the amazing things about this strange world we have found ourselves is seeing the ingenious ways people have come up with to overcome the limitations we’ve suddenly been confronted with. From enjoying after work drinks via video call, or Netflix creating an app so people could watch a movie together while in different houses, we’ve seen how humans can adapt to pretty much anything.
It has also demonstrated how, regardless of the circumstances, life has to go on. If you want to keep doing the things that are important to you just have to adapt to the situation you are in, not the one you want it to be. You can’t dwell on what you can no longer do, you need to focus on everything that you can. If the old ways of doing things are no longer possible, then you have to find new ways that are.
Making do or making new?
Sometimes those new methods can’t match the old ones, and we have to settle for less because it is better than nothing. But, sometimes we discover that once we had found one way of doing something we stopped looking for more, never even imagining the other possibilities that existed—until circumstance forced us to start thinking outside the box.
However, we may find that they turn out to be more than just a new way of achieving the same goal or outcome, merely allowing us to do the same things we have always in a world that has suddenly changed. Sometimes, we discover that they offer a better version of what came before or something completely new, something that we would have missed out on if we had been left to our own devices.
We aren’t all rock stars doing concerts in their home studio, or talk show hosts interviewing celebrities, as they both sit on their own couches in their own longue rooms. But, just as we have seen that those adaptations to a virus haunted world can be more than just lesser versions of what came before, offering a new intimacy and connection to their audience that would have been impossible before, we can find our own silver lining in the global cloud hanging over us.
It's not a competition
Because face-to-face socialising is no longer possible many people have turned to virtual meetups via video links. Some people might see it as a poor substitute for catching up in person, but instead of trying to compare them we can look at it as something new. I don’t see it as replacing being in the same room as family or friends—it can’t. But, it lets me interact with people in a whole new way, I can be talking to friends from all over the world without leaving my home or getting the whole family together without having to deal with the usual logistical nightmare!
Exercising at home via webcam is not a replacement for the gym, it provides its own unique experience. Watching the latest movie on your television at home while tweeting your friends who are watching it too doesn't mean you will never go to a cinema again but you can’t have quite as much fun skewering it there either.
It’s only when we stop measuring what we can do against what we can’t do anymore that we can properly appreciate these new experiences and find joy amidst the gloom. We need to make the best of the way things are, instead of being held captive by what was.
When life gives you virulently contagious lemons...
Hopefully, one day the world will return to, if not normal, at least one no longer held hostage by this terrible pandemic. We will be able to do many of those things once more, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop doing all the new things we have discovered. Instead of letting this disease steal this time away from us and leave us with nothing to show for it except suffering, we can enrich our lives with what we have learned, using this experience to make what comes next better than what we have lost.
David Goodwin is the former Editor of The Salvation Army’s magazine,War Cry. He is also a cricket tragic, and an unapologetic geek.
David Goodwin archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/david-goodwin.html