Pandemic pushed the world to isolation, social distance and lockdown in homes. This period, in which we have frozen our social relations and restricted our mobility, had individual and social effects. Our perception of space and time has changed. Our questions and problems about the universe, nature and existence have diversified or deepened. Perhaps it is time to ask questions to life like why and how right after the days when the reality of death shook the world.
In order to get answers with traces of different beliefs, different cultures and social structures, we asked our friends from different parts of the world to these questions: what do you live for? What connects you to life as you start your day each morning? Do you have a dream? Do you think the pandemic affected the answers to these questions and your perspective on life?
Frederik Vertongen writes from Dendermonde, Belgium for Gergedan.
When I first read these questions, I did not know what to answer. Life is hard to define, and it is even harder to define what I would like to do in my life. What do I live for? Life has multiple dimensions in which each dimension defines what your purpose for life could be. All dimensions could harmoniously live together, but could also create internal and external tensions. My goals in life can be different as an individual, as a friend, as a family member, as a student, as a Belgian or as an European. Within each dimension, my answer to this question will be different.
Without separately focusing on each of these dimensions, it is way more interesting to look at the interconnectivity between all these dimensions. Life is a true balancing act gaining experience through trial and error. Accepting failure in order to win, to progress. Without ignoring what is wrong, focusing on what is good. How can we extend what is good to more people in order to create a positive result?
That is what I have learned during the COVID-19 crisis or in other words: it is something I rediscovered, something I almost forgot: to look for what is positive. One day it is easy to find, while others will stubbornly refuse to show you what is good. This mental game is tiring, even exhausting, it could be suffocating… But at the end, the only way forward could be found through patience, looking for what is good, to go for that one thing which creates a possibility and then to go for that one shot. That is what I try to do every day, beginning with a fresh walk, looking at the sun. It is surprising what you get to see…