When all this Covid-19 palaver was first reported, it became relevant to the everyday Aussie that the cure was simple – to wash your hands…
No! I mean really wash your hands, not just run them under a tap. I just couldn’t take it overly seriously! However, something triggered inside my head when I sent a very exciting recipe for a Lamb Biryani over to a friend who pointed out that men used to talk about football and now they discuss recipes.
There is a definite shift in my psyche over the last few weeks of living in the times of Covid-19 and I’ll be honest, it’s not all bad and ugly.
This great positive response of cafe owner and coffee roaster across the country adapting to the situation with immune boosting ideas and takeaway options. Showing the flexibility to offer new lines of retail and creating online shops, which has inspired me to do the same in my life where I have chosen to simplify and go back to basics. Another inspiration of mine, Bruce Lee, once said:
“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless – Like water! Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup, you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
– Bruce Lee
I think most people will agree, the average hard working Aussie goes at life at a steady 100 mph, with never enough time in the day, levels of anxiety about what the future might hold and for the vast majority of us, at what cost to our mental and physical health.
Now many of us, due to the parameters put on us by this pandemic have had to slow down, take heed and consider our positions and sometimes purpose. Everybody reacts differently but my reaction to not knowing what the future holds is to live in the moment like any good Buddhist should.
I’m not saying I’ve reached enlightenment quite yet but I’ve started to appreciate long bush walks, while enjoying this most beautiful environment we are gifted.
I found some basketball courts behind a local sports centre, where I spend time shooting hoops and at 43 years old have started to find my 16-year-old ball skills. I’m reading fiction again, listening to podcasts and have signed up to Netflix, joining the Tiger King – Murder, Mayhem & Madness revolution.
I wish not to diminish anyone’s pains or challenges that they are facing in these unprecedented times.
I say all of this from the comfort of my office in a regional coastal town of NSW, relatively untouched by the horrors of what this virus has to offer, including the knock on effects of financial hardship and working for ‘The Man’, allows me not to be responsible for others.
A friend recently challenged me on my positive attitude toward this pandemic, saying what about the threat to our human rights, our liberty and I responded as any good William Wallace fan should; although maybe slightly out of context.
“They may take our lives, but they will never take our FREEDOM!”
It’s an interesting word, Freedom, but somehow I don’t feel my freedom is threatened!
However, I accept it might be a different narrative if I were a homosexual living in Vladimir Putin’s Russia or Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei’s, Iran. Even in lock-down I feel free and liberated by the uncertainty of the finite future that is presented. To elaborate further, one feels more than ever that one must ‘Live for today, as who knows what might happen tomorrow’.
I read an article in men’s culture magazine, The Cutthroat Journal, that claims humans have become soft! Moaning and complaining about minor inconveniences, luxuries and comforts that didn’t exist a decade ago. Taking out our frustrations on those around us. Even before lock-down we socialised less than ever, yet we have never been more connected. We happily surrender our freedom for convenience, comfort and security. Most of us either don’t know or refuse to accept that we have purchased this security and comfort with the only true currency we really have – Our freedom
They go on to say, risk, danger, uncertainty and adventure are already socially unacceptable and are being engineered out of our lives, where no physical or financial loss can be suffered.
So in answer to our freedom I say we need to look within, to unshackle our restraints. Whether that means to go back to education, travel more, go fishing, get fit, get that boob job you’ve always wanted or tattoo on your arse. Whatever it takes to realise enrichment in your life TODAY. People say the world will never be the same again. And I agree but not with the cynicism with which it is said but optimism, where we will never be the same again, because we won’t allow for it.
by Robert Marlowe