IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
By ALEX M. EDUQUE
Third week since the enhanced community quarantine has been implemented and I will not lie – some days are definitely better than others. On some days, when I feel like I am on the verge of losing my sanity, I do one of two, if not both things – turn to prayer and then count my blessings. When you are all cooped up, it is so easy to self-pity, over analyze and let your imagination run wild, much to your detriment. But what we sometimes fail to realize is that we are blessed – blessed to have four walls and a roof above our head, blessed to have more than enough sustenance to get us through, and most importantly, blessed that we are well, not sick, and are able to contribute to the wellness of this world by just simply staying home.
Sometime last week, in the flurry of all the fake news and negativity going around, I got a message about the realizations this pandemic has brought about, according to Bill Gates, which totally awakened and enlightened me. And while I do share a lot of similar points with him, there are a few I wish to insert some of my personal opinions on. So if you will let me, here are some of my realizations that COVID has brought about – on week three in quarantine.
Character is what we are made of, and what we will be remembered for. At the end of the day, your reputation precedes you, and your integrity will keep you in place. In simple words, at a time of crisis and desperation, true colors are revealed. Actions will always speak louder than words, and these are the times that either reveal ones’ selflessness and selfishness, not to mention, whether or not someone has a greater sense of responsibility besides to oneself. It is when compassion and empathy speak the loudest, and sets apart a true leader. It is when we know who our real friends are.
We are all equal investors of this planet earth, and regardless of which continent we may be from, what walk of life, race, ethnicity, social background, you name it, we all have an equal chance of contracting COVID-19. It is not a virus that chooses and in what some people have dubbed to be the third world war of our generation, the enemy is definitely invisible and has made it all the more difficult. In other words, as citizens of this earth, it is our duty to abide and flatten the curve. Stay at home.
I personally never thought I would see, let alone, live through a pandemic in my lifetime. Until now, I thought the days of restricted physical borders, travel and quarantine were nightmares of the past. Every day now is a reminder that freedom is a gift, and never again will I take being able to move from one place to another freely for granted. To be able to travel in itself is a gift in more ways than one, but to do so with liberty sans any restrictions is something I will now always be doubly grateful for.
Building on to the message our beloved Pope Francis delivered last week, it is most crucial at this time to turn our fears into faith. It is our faith – regardless of religion – that will carry and see us through. It is only with faith that we are able to dismiss fear and deal with the uncertainty that everyday brings about. It is faith that allows us to live and plan on a day to day basis with sanity, because the one staple we need and should have in our lives right now is our faith – these are the times that will indeed test its power and strength.
Which brings me to my last point which is to have faith that there is a greater power. Religion aside again, we must surrender that we are but mortals and small beings on this earth. Which, if we examine in the greater scheme of things, we then realize that our power and control is limited to our own personal decisions. It is at times like this when we have to have faith in the unknown. As the last line of Les Miserables goes, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” We must trust in the uncertainty and know in our hearts that our faith is what will lead us to overcome.