by Ilio Masprone – Publisher – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merit
MONACO. MONACO. Although it is difficult to find a positive side of the coronavirus epidemic, we should all try to see a positive aspect in this period of global upheaval, something that could change part of our daily socio-cultural behavior. In the chaos of our consumer society immediacy was the hit name of the game so that often it occurred that the slightest delay was frustrating us. Be honest, it is so cool to get what we want at the push of a button! But if our internet connection is not immediate, we get annoyed. If the doctor is keeping us waiting for an appointment, we often express our displeasure. Without our even noticing it, this “everything right now” attitude little by little was taking over our lives. Well, in this involuntary sabbatical time, we have been obliged to reassess and reprioritize. Because you know, we had to accept that things can happen in a different order than the one you had in mind, as inspirational David G. Allen says. Of course, we are all anxious to get back to our lives. We appeal to the scientists and doctors, but a vaccine will take some time. So, we must learn to be patient. Patience allows us to endure hardship without losing hope. Without patience, we act rashly and without foresight. In a crisis, quick decisions are important. But quick action must not lose sight of the long run. Patience is a very valuable treasure. And if we are forced to wait at the supermarket checkout till or we are struggling against the effort to “stay at home”, why not take advantage of our viral sabbatical to take a breather, to look around us, to be attentive to those around us? When we have the impression it is wasted time, patience teaches us to see it as an invitation to live better, to work better. Let’s check that in our relationship to ourselves and to others we’re not impatient, expecting an answer from others as rapid as our electronic stuff. Little by little, we will thus escape that internal pressure to have “everything right now”. As the earth moves forward undaunted in its rotation movement and season after season the plants grow at their slow pace, in this crisis our old and frenetic lifestyle has been unbalanced. Our physical and mental health suffers from a life out of balance, therefore we must learn to be patient. Little by little things will get back to normal, but it will be a new normal. This mandatory pause in ordinary life is an opportunity to re-balance things and build better habits. I think that there’s a good chance that we will reconsider and admit to ourselves that for too long we have lived at a furious pace. While we wait for the disease to run its course, let’s cultivate the virtue of patience. Patience is a life knack, it is the talent to adjourn instant gratification and to stand bravely towards hardship instead. Patience help us develop compassion and empathy, and make us strong. The big question is, will we be able to continue the habits of patience we’ve learned once the world will be on the other side of this pandemic?