A Time for Reflection

By: Paul C. Winum

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives throughout the world. The social distancing we have reluctantly adopted to protect ourselves from the threat of contamination has reduced or eliminated our in-person interactions with the people who have been a part of our social experience. We are now hunkered down with only a few others and with ourselves. Both the occupation of our time and attention at work as well as outlets for our entertainment and diversion have been greatly reduced or removed altogether. We have been challenged to develop new ways to spend our waking hours.

These changes in lifestyle combined with the existential threat that the pandemic presents certainly give us the opportunity to benefit from the gift of reflection. In the course of our normal lives, we are mostly occupied with the execution of our daily tasks of work, family responsibilities, social activities, hobbies, and recreation. Now with much of those activities interrupted or postponed, we have more time to reflect on how precious and precarious our lives are and to ask ourselves some important questions:

  • What is my life’s purpose?
  • What am I learning about myself and about what is most important to me during this time?
  • Who are the people I care about most, and how do I demonstrate that to them?
  • When this current threat and disruption of my life has passed, what lessons can I take from the experience once I restart?
  • How will I act differently going forward to honor my values and core purpose?

We are all in positions to influence and lead others. Whether as a manager or co-worker, as a parent or sibling, as a neighbor or member of a community organization, how we present ourselves in our words and actions reflects our values and impacts the other people we interact with. During this time, we might ask ourselves:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What insights and core values do I want to impart to those whom I have the opportunity to influence?
  • When life without restrictions restarts again, what do I want my new normal to be?

It’s been said that we should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Let’s not waste the time for reflection presented to us by this crisis. 

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