Lessons from COVID-19 – The Year Earth Changed

Published on by Green Initiatives

​It is now over 18-months since COVID-19 forced its way into the public consciousness. While the headlines first reported it like any other story, within weeks it became apparent this was not the case. The novel coronavirus literally went viral, fuelling a rise in levels of anxiety, fear, and stress around the globe. 

the importance of gratitude

During the past 18-months, questions regarding science, nature, liberty, morals, control, responsibility, mental and physical health have all continued swirling around the public sphere. Yet all we are really sure of, is that this pandemic will not fade away as quickly as it arose.

The world is still bracing itself. Everything, however, is not simply doom and gloom. For all of the bad news which has rained down on us, there have been many uplifting, inspiring stories providing refuge. Yes, it’s true! This pandemic has also brought positive things, lessons, and feelings, to individuals and communities alike.

“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones”  - Stephen Colbert

This article is dedicated to shed some light on the latter, so keep reading and stay safe and positive.

One of the undeniable things that COVID-19 is responsible for is opening people’s eyes to the importance of certain professions.  Nurses, teachers, shop attendants, delivery drivers, and many others.

Shutdown after shutdown, wave after wave, we have become far more aware of just how much we need from one another. Not only need but actively depend upon those around us who can so easily be taken for granted. Far from isolating individuals, public restrictions have created a much-needed sense of gratitude throughout communities.

Around the world, millions of people have been sending thank you messages to those on the frontlines. Heads of government and well-known public figures have openly voiced respect and admiration for workers of different service industries who tirelessly work to keep the world safe and moving.

Gratitude is important because it is deeply connected to one's well-being. In fact, many studies have shown that being grateful has a positive impact physically, emotionally, and socially.

less is more

Due to lockdowns, people were forced to reassess their lifestyles and habits. Many came to the realization they had way too many things, to the extent of forgetting when was the last time some items had been used.

Books and shows about decluttering and reorganizing suddenly became popular as more of us concluded that “clutter is not just the stuff on the floor– it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living”(Peter Walsh).

The new reality is also shifting perspectives about what truly matters in life. And fortunately, more and more people are now learning to live with less stuff and a deeper inner meaning.

“Having more and more won’t solve the problem, and happiness does not lie in possessions or even relationships. The answer lies within ourselves. If we can’t find peace and happiness there, it’s not going to come from outside.”

– Tenzin Palmo 

Rethinking how we live has also pushed many people to exercise, cooking, and connecting with others in different ways. Long-held internal promises are finally being fulfilled. 

Coexitsing with nature

Along with lockdowns, travel restrictions, and economic downturns, there has been another subject often caught in the media’s spotlight. Headlines concerning clear signs of nature’s regeneration have become increasingly common.

Pictures of confident wildlife checking out cities and returning to places they had left long ago have been a highlight for sure.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52459487

However, it is important to be mindful that cleaner air, environmental regeneration, and the increase of wildlife is temporary to the extent of how many of us return to the “old normal”.

“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to” – Dave Hollis

The world has not only changed but will continue to evolve going forwards. Which direction we develop next depends entirely upon us.

Green Initiatives 133rd Film Screening

Join Green Initiatives 133rd film screening, “The Year Earth Changed” a film narrated by David Attenborough presents footage from around the world after an unprecedented year, a timely documentary special that takes a fresh new approach to the global lockdown and the uplifting stories that have come out of it.

In this documentary special, viewers will witness how the smallest changes in human behavior – reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist – can have a profound impact on nature. This documentary is a love letter to planet Earth, highlighting the ways nature’s resiliency and ability to bounce back can give us hope for the future.

Click here for more information.