Uncertainty, according to the Collins English dictionary is a state of doubt about the future.
Is there anyone right now that is not in a state of doubt about the future?
The current pandemic has heightened our uncertainty about the future – short term and long term. In the short term, parents are anxious about sending their children to school. We have to make decisions about online vs in-class education. What if we make the wrong choice? We may have older kids returning to their part-time jobs in retail or the service industry. Will they be safe? We may have a parent on a waitlist for a long-term care facility. Do we send them now and risk exposure to the virus or do they lose their place in line? Do we risk taking them to a grocery store or restaurant or do we leave them to their loneliness in their apartment? Which will be more harmful in the long term?
We find ourselves making choices between worst-case scenarios. Gone is the choice between good and bad, now we make our selection based on what will do the least damage. And we wonder, in the long term: what if we are wrong?
Anxieties are intensified.
Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People years ago said we must focus on that which we can control, influence that which we cannot control and accept what we can’t influence. We can’t control coronavirus; we can control our attitude towards it. We can influence it by wearing masks, social distancing, staying in our bubbles; we must accept we can’t always influence others around us who may not be dealing with things as we are.
The right thing to do during this pandemic will be different for each of us. For me, it is about looking after myself so I can look after others. For me, it’s about listening, having patience and supporting others. No judgement; we all need to handle things in our own way.
The right thing to do is actually pretty simple; the right thing to do is to be kind. The world can use a little more kindness right now.