What does “normal” even mean or look like these days? Since March, it seems, every day we have woken up to a new plot twist we could not have seen coming. A natural disaster, loss of so many lives, a pandemic looming low and heavy — it can all be a little overwhelming. How are we coping? What have we learned from it all? Well, I did some research for you, and I am here with a few suggestions.
Take these as simply some suggestions or a “note-to-self,” if you will. I think first and foremost what we have learned is that we must be more considerate. The United States, and Western civilization in general, is typically more individualistic — we tend to think of ourselves first and others second — or even last — on our personal priority list. However, the global pandemic has changed that. We wear masks and social distance for those around us, in attempts to keep them safe from us. We consider another’s life over ours, which is unlike the typical American culture — we are literally creating our own culture.
In the same vein as consideration, we are more likely to be more gracious with one another. Instead of assuming, we take into account the possibilities of a human life: What if they are having a bad day? What if they are in a rush? What if, what if, what if. Then, we grant grace to those humans that frustrate us during everyday tasks. If we refuse to grant this grace and be gentle with one another, more often than not, we are wasting our time and energy being bitter or frustrated over nothing, in the long run. Essentially, we need to be taking better care of each other, and, truly, I think the world is doing a much better job than before the pandemic.
Lastly, I believe if we are more open to each other — despite politics, economics, social views, etc. — we create a kinder and more inclusive world. We become better listeners and force ourselves out of a divisive mindset that, I think, has unintentionally been thrust upon us.
So, my charge to you: Stop asking or begging for the world to “go back to normal.” For now, we are in the new normal, and we have to attempt to embrace it, with open arms, just like we do with everything else thrown at us with each new day. Put others first, grant more grace and be open to actually listening to more ideas — especially those that may not necessarily align with your own.