This article is based on my own life and experiences in which I have been pondering the state of the world and the humility of our lives.
“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”
― Viktor Emil Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
How can we be better at being human?
We have become more humbled in our experience as humans as the pandemic continues to change the lives we knew pre-Covid. The Global Pandemic has made us more alert to the fragility and finiteness of life. We have been given a looking glass into the personal lives of our colleagues through a screen. What has that done in the way we relate to others? People we may not have liked previously have become a little more human as we peek into their lives at home, hear their children in the background, or the dog barking at the neighbors. Managers have become more real as we see their children interrupting them while they give weighty speeches about money, business, and KPI’s. There’s even more of an understanding of taking time off and taking care of one’s lives throughout the day.
In March, when it all started, the world went quiet and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves as the months went on. It was something we had not experienced before and it was peculiar and uncomfortable. As the months went on we began to become restless and suffocated in our homes. People were realizing how much certain things were important to them whether that be family, getting fresh air, social encounters, etc., our cravings for these things became stronger.
Our tech culture has created a society of fast = success, slow = obsolete. In the past, perhaps we’ve spent most of our time zooming through the week and getting things done, anxiously waiting for the weekend. We spent far too much time complaining about what we didn’t have and forgot to express gratitude for the things we did. We used the word “busy” far too superfluously when we really knew we were saying “it’s just not important enough”. We gave stress, anxiety, and angst rent-free space in our minds. Distraction and instant gratifications lead us to a perpetually central-focused mindset of the world around us while distancing us from the authentic version of ourselves, whatever that may be.
What has that taught us about our needs and humanness? If you’ve become more in tune with your thoughts and feelings, you may have discovered the intense desire to be around people or even the bliss of being alone. You may have gotten more interested in working out or less for that matter. You may have realized that office life is quite a distraction or maybe an intense desire to sit at a desk to create a boundary for work and play.
Tapping into our mortality
I often wonder how life will be after this pandemic. It’s safe to assume it will never be the same, albeit what does that world even look like? What we are seeing are more trends of companies moving to permanent or partial work from home, new safety measures that seem to sweep our cities, and a cautiousness that surrounds hugs and kisses with our loved ones.
Here’s what I do know. We have all been forced to pause. To pause and evaluate ourselves, our lives, and what’s truly important to us. We are living in a place between stillness and assiduity. I have come to realize that things are never as good or as bad as they tend to seem. While many of us want this to be over and go back to the new normal, I leave you with these questions:
In this short moment we call life, what creates meaning for us and how do we find it…or does it find us?