Sanity amid chaos

Published November 30, 2021, 5:25 AM

by Benel D. Lagua

            These past two years we all have our shares of “it’s ok not to be ok.” The pandemic and lockdowns have taken a toll on mental health. Depression skyrocketed and pandemic fatigue became a crucial breaking point for some. A lot of people wonder how to find real hope or comfort when the world seemed to be in the middle of its meltdown.

            Prior to the pandemic, man’s priority has been all about securing material possessions. For mostof us, the financialstability quest was to provide up to the third generation. Some thought they could be happy when they could buy what they want. Others believed getting married and having children were the key to happiness. The young ones thought the path to success required graduating from some prestigious university. The list goes on.

All of a sudden, our generation faced its biggest challenge. We were confronted with a pandemic that we thought were stuff of history books. We all believed science was advanced enough to get us out of these troubles of the past century. The  pandemic changed many of our life models. Everything transformed in an instant, in a snap of the fingers. All those aspirations that people thought would secure comfort revealed its fleeting nature.

            Being comforted is not just being comfortable. Comfort is knowing that our future is secure beyond this world.  For the faithful, it is believing in a God that can provide such kind of security. The passing of time has taught this writer that what matters most is not the age you will reach in this world but how to be secure in God’s promise. There’s this quote shared to me, “you always know how much money you have, but you never know how much time you have.”

Many of us lost friends and family to the pandemic. For a while it was a statistic we read in newspapers and watched on the news telecast. And then suddenly it hit close to home, to people we relate to and for some, our closest relations. They seemed to be like soldiers in our midst falling in our left and right in an impossible war.

If you are reading this now, you are blessed to have been able to survive this pandemic unlike the millions who simply lost their lives.  We suddenly   realize that every waking hour of our lives is both a miracle and a blessing. Pray and always talk to our God to say our thanks and to divulge to him the things that worry us the most.

            To some, prayer is just a mental crutch. But for the true believers,prayer keeps us in touch with our God and helps us discover true self. We really have a supreme being up there ready to listen to our plea and give us His answer in His marvelous ways. Although our present problems will not disappear overnight, God is always there to help us in many unexpected ways. He somehow provides people to help us when we are in need, friends to comfort us when we need it the most.

What can we learn from the example of Jesus in comforting others? When we are ready to listen just to ease someone’s burden, when we learn to say good words to encourage others, God’s power is at work in us to comfort others.

            Isn’t it right that by comforting each other, the load each of us carry feel a bit lighter? Although things around us may be far from our expectations, now is not the time to be discouraged. When we focus ourselves in assisting the needs of others than ourselves, we begin to feel humane. Giving and comforting is agrace that returns to us because at the end, the benefits redound to the giver and comforter.

            To maintain mental sanity amid this chaotic situation we are into, one must not only dwell on the self. Find ways to reach out. It is no wonder that man was not created to be alone. We need each other. We need to help one another. Only then can we find ourselves the needed comfort, joy, hope and real happiness.

            At the end of the road, comfort and security do not derive from the physical things that we accumulate. It is sourced from the best relationships the person develops and nurture, with family, friends, and our neighbors.  It is not a simple matter of human connection, but it is the manifestation of the most important relationship we could ever have – our relationship with God.

(Benel Dela Paz Lagua was previously Executive Vice President and Chief DevelopmentOfficer at the Development Bank of the Philippines.  He is an active FINEX member and an advocate of risk-based lending for SMEs.  The views expressed herein are his own and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of his office as well as FINEX.)

 
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