I’ve written about my dad previously and he was 100% the optimist. Despite setbacks, pain and a lot of suffering in his life, he was always willing to help people and go above and beyond.
I think my Dad might be where I get my own optimism and drive from. He was a people person and loved to help others. That’s not to say that he was always cheerful, he really wasn’t, he could be a miserable, grumpy curmudgeon, but that’s what you get when you are part of a family – the good and the bad.
Now, we are in the midst of a life changing event. The world that we knew before the virus, will not be the same as the life we know after the virus. This virus will change and shape us all for years to come. I think that is what life might have felt like for my dad, pre and post accident. His accident changed his life and this virus will change so many more lives than just one person.
How can we get through that?
With optimism: the belief that good will triumph over evil.
The “hello” to a stranger as you socially distance yourself on a walk. The knock on a neighbours door to ensure that they have everything they need, because you know that they are on their own. The current and thankful recognition that low paid jobs matter, that the people who are working in supermarkets or transporting food, or cleaning in the NHS hospitals are essential workers* (a shift in so many people’s mindset). * there are so many other categories that I could include.
All of this is about recognising the good in humanity. That cannot be a bad thing.
Optimism in the future isn’t about being blind to the failures that have occured or the problems that are endemic in society. Optimism is about ensuring as an individual that you come out of this situation having learnt something. If that something is a greater understanding of the human condition, then that can’t be a bad thing.
Already, I’ve learnt that life is about the people you have in it. I’m missing my colleagues and the joy they bring to my life, I’m missing the students and the relationships that we have, the fun that they bring as well as the problem solving that then occurs, I’m missing the holiday face to face catch ups, I’m missing the weekly walks with my friends, I’m missing the bumping into people I know when I’m out, I’m missing the normality of hugging someone when you see them. Essentially, I’m missing people.
But, optimistically, this will return and I’ll appreciate it more. Hopefully, we all will.