By Jimi Teague
Right now most of America is under quarantine due to the Coronavirus. Schools are closed and many parents are suddenly homeschooling their children with no co-ops to attend. No leaving the house at all and that is stressful for even the most well-functioning families. Businesses are closing. There is a fear in the air of lost jobs, reduced income and a virus that threatens us all. There is a shortage of toilet paper. It is safe to say that we are living in a time of high stress. Is it all bad? Are we doomed? How can we have a positive mindset amid all the bad that is looming over us right now?
This is a great time to learn how to find peace in the midst of chaos. One way to do that is to consider just how bad our situation really is, or isn’t. The Law of Relativity states that a situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to something else.
Let’s take a look at what’s going on around the world. Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I see many parents saying that having to be locked away at home with their children for two weeks feels like the end of the world. They are missing out on parties and sporting events are canceled. They are bored. They are stir crazy and they are struggling not to eat all the food they bought in bulk to survive the crisis.
There is fear about losing jobs and getting sick but mostly they are out and about panic shopping, even after they were asked to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. Walmart parking lots are still full. There are lines for miles to get into Costco. This situation could be viewed as pretty bad and by many, it has been expressed as the worst thing they have ever experienced. Life in our country is undoubtedly changed forever by the current events.
Let’s go back to The Law of Relativity. It states that a situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to something else. I will compare the current situation with the coronavirus to what happens every day in America.
Every day in America children are starving, homeless and abused. Every day children hooked up to IVs and wires weakly look up into their parent’s eyes and pray that cancer doesn’t take their fragile life. Those parents are not complaining about having to take time off work to stay home with their kids.
An illness is threatening the life of someone that they love. They probably face the reality of losing a job due to the responsibility of caring for a sick child. They have missed out on parties and sporting events and probably worn a face mask to prevent bringing any illness to their child with a worn down immune system. They might be separated from their spouses and other children and their families so that they can stay with the sick child.
I don’t think I need to explain how comparing the fear of something that might happen and a shortage of toilet paper to a child struggling to survive cancer. I also have seen parents of those struggling children be the most positive and upbeat people I know because they choose to believe in something greater than themselves and continue to hope in a future that is blessed. That’s my point. The Law of Relativity lets us know that we have the freedom to apply meaning to every situation in our lives. We do not have to accept things as good or bad. We get to choose.
How can this help you find peace in the midst of chaos? The current situation in America is scary. Things are changing and we don’t know what the future holds but what we do know is that we have a choice in what we believe and how we respond to the world around us. We can choose to take in all the data coming at us and filter it. We can decide that we are going to be brave and choose to remain calm and have faith no matter the situation. I encourage you to do just that. When it feels like the chaos is surrounding you, I encourage you to stop and compare your situation to something else. How bad is it really? You might just find that it isn’t that bad after all.
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