During an interview recently with a 10-year-old student, I was struck by the optimism and perspective of a young girl. When she was asked what meaning COVID 19 has brought to her family. She answered with the wisdom of an elderly as follows: “That we, as a family, have realized the value of our family again and that we should appreciate every day as a gift and that we should not take life for granted.” The maturity of this little girl had me puzzled for some time until I got clarity about the bigger picture. Isn’t this what it is all about? Surely, during the lockdown, we have been indoctrinated by the media world with bad news, negative messages, and anxiety on a daily basis. However, this ten-year-old girl actually challenged me with the following:  “but what was positive” and this came as a revelation. Since we being under lockdown, enough has been said about online learning, the negative impacts on the households, the new normal, etc. While the uncertainty about the future does not make life easier, it is important to note that:

  • in a world filled with wars, killings, racism, human brutality, and with COVID 19 deaths around us, life does matter;
  • no single day should be taken for granted, instead be cherished and appreciated;
  • families once again should realize their love, appreciation, and dependence on each other;
  • our awareness of the small things in the household has become paramount again;
  • our initial anxiety made room for calmness and perspective;
  • our happiness can only be determined by choice;
  • we must keep life’s rules simple. That should not mean that visionary thinking cannot be encouraged.

As an optimist myself, my faith in humanity, in science and technology, in health care, in the good in people, in our resilience, in our perseverance, in our ability to overcome our obstacles, to grow and evolve, in our kindness, in our empathy, in our commitment to improving ourselves, in our desire to provide a good life for ourselves and our loved ones, in never giving up, in life after COVID19, in our commitment to our communities and our belief in ourselves and our endless capacity to love has changed the way I have thought about life, by renewal again.

Staying positive and optimistic during times of crisis can be challenging, but it is critical to our mental wellbeing and immune system. Even those, with the sunniest of outlooks, can struggle with optimism and need to apply conscious effort, adaptability, and continuous mindfulness. The correlation between overall health and optimism has been proven through numerous research, that it is not much of a stretch that optimists are happier than pessimists. That they find it easier to navigate themselves, through constructive and calm thinking to a more resilient self.

As an educationist, it has always been my first aim to contribute towards a happy child, educator, and a happy family. Being down the COVID19 lockdown line three months later, I want to pose a simple question. How should we sustain?

  • We should continuously ask ourselves: “What is the worst that could have happened to me?… I am still alive!”
  • Let us remind ourselves continuously of what is good in life.
  • Let us recognize what we are doing well.
  • Let us keep the conversation and debate open and relevant in the household, with a win/win mission, always at mind.
  • Let us forgive more frequently. Life is too short to stay small.
  • Let us refocus, away from internal satisfaction to external significance, reaching out to others in need.
  • Let us practice gratefulness and live for the moment. Things can easily change tomorrow.
  • Let us start our day with a positive routine. Replace your cell phone and the news of the day, as a first thing activity,  with some meditation and silent time with the Lord, fresh breathing, a warm smile, stretching exercise, and healthy breakfast, without hasting and rushing.
  • Let us pace and nurture ourselves, (mind, body, and soul) allowing ourselves to slow down from time to time.
  • Let us walk away from distressful situations and conversations that don’t contribute towards positive outcomes.

The good news I am clinging onto is that it will not be like this forever. COVID19 shall also pass. Relax. God is in control! All for now, while wishing our educationists some peace of mind.

Kind regards
Cassie Carstens

PS: Food for thought: “Everything can change in the last chapter. First complete the race to make sure that nothing unpredictable happens” Nelson Mandela.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Get Notified of New Posts”][vc_column_text]

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