When a friend of mine named Keenan first heard of COVID-19, he remembered feeling scared and his reaction was that of a sense of urgency to prepare for war. Being a farmer, he has access to land and water. He felt a need to grow food and arm himself.
He looked at his reaction, over 18 months later and can still see the reason behind what he was feeling. However, he no longer feels the sporadic and out-of-control feelings that one gets from a strong reaction to something. That scenario was but an opportunity for him to grow and better himself.
“Those days were uncertain. The only examples we had of the virus and how it affected a country and its citizens was that which the CCP told us. People were scared and were even asking for a lockdown, ” said Keenan.
COVID-19 in Australia
The efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 however were too late as cases in Australia rose and uncertainty continued to spread regarding the virus.
Keenan’s grandparents were unsure of how to deal with the situation because they’d never experienced anything like it. It was a case of wait and see what happens in such uncertainty.
The current days are still uncertain and with that, there is still a certain apprehension. He recalled the famous novel The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
The book tells of the grim reality and history of the effects of Russian communism and the crimes that were committed by their hands. In the book, Solzhenitsyn notes: “We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more — we had no awareness of the real situation.”
“This brings me to the current COVID situation and makes me wonder what could be happening behind the smoke and mirrors of it all,” Keenan reflected.
A friend of Keenan’s who received the COVID-19 vaccine mentioned that although they were not concerned about the vaccine, they didn’t like having it mandated and the accompanying loss of our civil liberties. Keenan agreed with their sentiments.
Growth and self-development are key
With growth and self-development, so do these thoughts and experiences conclude with the same outcome?
How Keenan best approached this situation was to focus on what he is in control of, that is his own life and environment. He continues to weed his garden, make home and self-improvements, exercise, and practice qigong just as he did before the pandemic. Only now with more maturity.
“Living through the pandemic has helped me grow as a man. I recently heard this great saying which I believe to be true: ‘Strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times and hard times create strong men.’ I believe we are currently in the process of becoming stronger men. Which is hugely positive,” said Keenan.
For Keenan, when he focuses on things out of his control or that he has no say in, a certain instability can arise. Of course, we are unable to control everything and in our journey will suffer setbacks and defeats. However, this is what makes victory so sweet.
Through all the struggle, we emerge victorious and better off than when we started. This is the essence of growth and self-development. To wade through the difficulties in this world and emerge as an individual of esteemed virtue is the role all people must play if we are to have a bright future.