As I am writing this, there has already been tons of news of various franchises in my state announcing that masks in their stores are no longer mandatory. With the COVID vaccine and mask mandates being lifted, we as a society cannot help but to feel a sense of closure with the pandemic. With the closure of the pandemic, there is tons of excitement and joy to be able to hug family and friends safely again, to see concerts popping up from artists that have not been able to tour in over a year, and being able to travel and have experiences that we haven't been able to have since the start of the pandemic. Although the world is changing due to COVID decreasing, I cannot help but reflect on the lessons and values that this pandemic has taught me, and I want to share some of my learned lessons with all of you, in the hopes that you will ponder and create your own list to take out in to the world into the new normal.
1) You get out of experiences what you put into them
Throughout the pandemic, I was still able to put myself out there and get involved in a ton of activities and organizations that will help me to become a better professional and have allowed me to work on and practice skills that I didn't even necessarily know that I had. Just because something gets in your way, does not mean you can't still get a lot out of an experience.
2) Flexibility and patience are key
I have never been a super flexible or patient person, but the pandemic really challenged me to be so. This flexibility and patience I have learned due to COVID has allowed me to reach new levels within my passions and will challenge me to be a better family member, friend, and professional.
3) We can't not think about others -- We need to focus on humanity
Being selfish really does not get you very far -- we have to work on practicing being selfless. Sometimes helping the greater good is better than doing something that will only benefit us. Looking at the big picture and exercising the steps towards a better big picture for everyone is essential. We are humans, and sometimes we all need a reminder that we as humans have a community with one another.
These are just a few things that I have learned as a result of the pandemic, but I think the greatest lesson I have learned is to love. Love not only those around me, but appreciate and stand up for those around me as well. Spreading love and not hate is such a basic concept, but it leaves such a great impact.
COVID, I am happy to see you go, but I appreciate the lessons I was able to learn during this time.