Most people seem to agree with the general consensus that 2020 was one of the worst years in a long time. People have died, the pandemic has made millions lose their jobs, and everywhere people are forced to stay inside their homes for extended periods of time.
As many of us spent time stuck indoors we had lots of time to reflect on what exactly makes life worth living, and what was pointless nonsense. Some of us may have spent time on social media, playing video games, or working for our Grande Vegas casino bonuses, but there was the same thing on every person’s mind.
The People that Matter Most
Everyone had family and friends on their mind. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you are doing, you probably had your besties, your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone else we care about on our minds!
We, humans, are social creatures. We need and desire social interaction and love to keep going. Without it, we tend to lose motivation and fall into bouts of sadness, worry, or depression.
Even though there were ways to stay connected, it isn’t really the same. You can’t keep tabs on everyone you care about all the time.
This leads to worry. Worry about whether someone you care about is going to end up with Covid 19. Worry that they could be in the hospital on a ventilator right at that very second and you would just not know.
This gets exasperated for people who live in very distant time zones. Imagine you have family in China. There could be a 15 hour time difference if you live in the US. Even if you live in the UK, there is still an 8 hour time difference.
This means that while you are going about your day, your friends or family there are probably sleeping. You also probably wouldn’t be able to talk often because it would be hard to find a time where you are both awake every day.
Despite this, we have found many new ways to come together even when we must be spread apart. Zoom and other video calling services have been a huge boon for school, loved ones, and friends.
Now you can still talk to your relatives on the holidays in some way even when we are far apart. This could even stay until after the pandemic for those of us who have family who simply cannot visit.
Something that has certainly been good for many people is the realization that they can do their jobs from home! This is more for the tech industry, but it could also be found in some others.
This is quite a positive because for many people this would be a huge productivity and morale boost. Many people don’t like having to go into an office every single day especially if they live a distance away from their work.
For instance, I know someone who lived in New Jersey that worked in New York. They had a several hour commute to get to work. If he could work from home, he would be able to sleep longer, and not have to spend so much time on public transit.
This could also save a lot of money for some businesses. If it turns out their employees are just as productive at home, they no longer have to pay for office space!
Rent is expensive, so for small businesses that would benefit from saving all the money they can, not having to rent a large office space would be a huge money saver for them. They would get the same amount of work done, with much less overhead!
Business Aint Booming
Now, even though there are some positive ideas that have come out of us being stuck at home, that doesn’t mean it is all sunshine and rainbows. There definitely were some terrible things that happened for business owners.
Due to the large lockdowns and lack of travel and tourism, many small businesses have simply ceased to exist. Small owners weren’t making enough money, and found themselves having to ‘close up shop.’
This had a domino effect and caused many people to also find themselves without jobs. Unemployment goes up, and financial security goes down.
The simple fact is, a global pandemic is just not a great time for many businesses. Especially mom and pop establishments that have a main business based on foot traffic and not online shopping.
So, with everyone being stuck at home, large businesses have found themselves thriving. Everyone has had to make purchases through Amazon, or other large retailers, and this has grown a large resentment toward big businesses.
It seems like everyone is suffering, yet large business owners are raking in billions of dollars in sales and revenue. It seems like the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
Although this would be just speculation on my part, I have a feeling many people might switch to buying from small businesses if they can. After seeing all the terrible things big companies have done throughout the years and during the pandemic many people have no doubt lost a lot of faith or respect for big businessmen. That is if they had any, to begin with.
The Importance of School
Every kid who has had to be sent to school probably doesn’t like school. They complain about having to get up and spend so much time in a classroom learning.
Although the school system isn’t perfect, there probably is a newfound respect for being in a classroom. Time and time again I have heard from students how difficult distance learning is.
This is simply because it is rather difficult to learn without the teacher being right in front of you. It’s harder to follow lessons, it’s harder to ask questions, and it is harder to have meaningful discussions about the material that is being learned.
Another problem is there isn’t a learning atmosphere. Many people find it very hard to learn through a computer while at home. It is much easier for them to not get distracted when there is a desk in front of them, and a teacher watching them.
Tests are also just kind of a joke nowadays. There is just no way a teacher can prevent students from cheating. Even if they have them keep their cameras on, and even if they use some program that locks them out of anything else on the computer, they will still never be 100% sure.
There is an old saying that says, “where there is a will, there is a way.” And believe me, a lot of students will have plenty of will to go around.
Besides the learning itself, many people also struggle with motivation problems.
Being able to see friends and classmates at school is a big motivator for people. Especially people who don’t find enjoyment in academics.
This is also a problem because people struggle when they have no meaningful routine. I and others may dislike things about school, but there is a certain satisfying fulfillment after a day of school.
You feel accomplished in a way. And when that schedule is taken away from you, you can feel like you have wasted a day.
This causes people to lose motivation completely. They simply cannot find ways to fill all of their time meaningfully.
Time is the most valuable commodity a human can have. Wealth and riches can buy many things, but you can’t buy yourself more time on earth. When it is your time to die, it’s simply your time to die.
Where do We Go?
There is a simple question that many people might have in their heads. That is “Where do we go from here?” What can we do? How do we continue?
The simple answer is that we just keep on keeping on. That is all really anyone can do. We must stay positive though.
It is important to find something you enjoy doing in order to not have yourself fall into a depressed state. The last thing you want is to just feel like all you can do is give up.
So, learn an instrument. Learn to paint. Find something you are passionate about, and fill your time with it. It will give you the motivation and meaning that many people strive for.
In this time, all many of us have is ourselves. It is important that we grow to love ourselves, and not grow hate ourselves.