Are you feeling tired, at times hopeless, or in denial regarding the situation surrounding COVID-19? Welcome to the club, I assure you are not alone and millions if not billions of people around the world share your current mental state. Just as with any crisis though, out of the darkest steps there are some glimmerings of the light of opportunity. No, I do not mean economic prosperity because the thought of economic prosperity while the entire global economy is shut down is a far-fetched thought at the writing of this piece.
Instead what I mean is that our generation, the millennial generation, is at an inflection point. Just as with other great generations before us that were molded by moments in history that occurred during their watch, baptized by fire sometimes, so now we too have our moment.
In this time of global quarantine it is a perfect opportunity to examine ourselves. Who we are, who we aim to be, and what sort of world do we want to live in. All three of these questions are uniquely important and I recognize that they are existential and you have to be in the right frame of mind to ask these questions of yourself. What is growing increasingly apparent is that we will not be going back to the normal that we once knew even when there is a vaccine.
It appears as though we are barreling full steam ahead towards a new reality. A reality that, excitingly, isn’t quite here yet so in this interim, we have the ability to shape it before it comes to be. That is a luxury that very few, if any generations before us in the United States have had a chance to do.
Before we get to opening the economy, before we get into grand plans of switching our energy grid to green energy and saving our planet, I think that one of the main takeaways of the COVID-19 experience is that we all need to be kinder to one another and cherish our time with each other as much as possible. There are so many who do not get a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones due to the inability to gather at funerals. There are so many of us who continue to underappreciate and undervalue essential workers when there is no crisis to speak of.
Let’s use this time to learn something about ourselves and to see ways that we can improve our communities around us. It would be catastrophic if our world collectively went through this COVID-19 crisis and learned nothing from it. The future is in our often-washed hands. From the ashes of this virus, may a better world rise like a phoenix. Be the change that you want to see in the world –now is your chance.