Karl Young: New dream halts runaway train of society

Let's see the pandemic as a reset button on society's views and expectations of one another.

Karl Young: New dream halts runaway train of society

I am fortunate enough to be in a household where there is still a reasonably good income although it is 50 % less than usual. Although the cloud of reality hanging over our heads is that things might get worse before it gets better. The impact of the lockdown in my immediate space has been severe. In a good way — the way I choose to see reality.

Events have occurred in a time of where the air is thick with tension, minds and hearts seem like runaway trains going through tunnel after tunnel, not knowing what the future might have in store. Where will this never-ending marathon of achieving and surviving to the point of insanity lead?

Fence of frustration and stress

Looking at people leaving the country for better opportunities and people seeking refuge in our country. People all around are snapping like dogs at each other through a fence of frustration and stress which society has placed upon us. Global racial tensions are high as foreigners are seen as a threat and we even see people around us as a threat.

We need to constantly defend our positions at work and put others down for the sake of survival. Our music has become songs of struggle and glances to a past where all was not whole and secure. Nonetheless reflecting it was a time where we had the luxury to breathe.

Reached the threshold

It seems like society and Mother Earth has reached a threshold where it is not able to sustain demands and is running on fumes with only the occasional breath of essential air in a sea of struggle. We read and see all around us that resources, such as air and water — not to mention fossil fuels and natural minerals, are getting depleted.

What is of greater importance is our mental and emotional capacity being stretched to the max. We have almost no patience or tolerance for each other, our children, and our surroundings. We just want to flee, and if we do, we are refugees lost.

Fast train without destination

If we reflect to the turn of the century it was a turning point of extraordinary proportions, the machines were in place to make a smooth run. We have made the error of not doing a pit stop in order to analyse and adjust performance for the terrain or circumstances, we all jumped onto the fast train without a destination.

Consequentially now, it is a runaway train.

The year 2020 is a definite turn of course with this train coming to a dead stop, almost a crash dislodging many parts and lives and events.

We are at a standstill, assessing the damage done, who is infected, what can be salvaged and where must funds go in order to get this train running again.

Machine needs repair work

After initial assessment we realise that this machine will not start up again and definitely needs some repair work. We can only compare to our historical events globally. Should we compare the current situation as it is with an imploding war?

Each country, business, household and citizen are shell-shocked with the abrupt stop. Even the government seems to stop barking at one another for the time being and corruption and violence seems to have stalled for a moment.

Accept dependence

Given the scenario, being an optimist among pessimists and a pessimist among optimists. I see a bright light on the horizon. Not only for South Africans, but for the world. It will pass eventually, and as stubborn as human beings are, we are again coming to terms with how we depend on each other.

The waiter who complains about bad customers, need them to pay so they can receive an income. The factory owner hooting and cursing the taxi driver needs his employees at work in an affordable way to be able to employ more people so he can manufacture to look after his family, in-laws, and his extended family.

Do what you are good at

We are not only at war with others, but we are also at war with ourselves. We are faced with a time and challenge that we can no longer ignore or subdue people and place them into the category of a mule in a factory. We are all good if we do what we are made to be good at.

We are programmed for the last 90 years, that you need to treat life as a marathon. You choose your lane or career. Outperform everyone around you and win your prize, death or retirement — whichever comes first.

Then this pandemic occurred, and we all stand still, waiting, for we know things will not be normal again.

We have been brought back to family religion and looking after and preserving what we hold deer and prioritising what we genuinely care about. Priorities change and we are brought closer together. As we will emerge out of our holes, we will take more care in our actions and embrace the lost generation for they are now in their glory days and what they stand for is now everyone’s priority — no tolerance for intolerance.

Society benefits from those who are true to themselves

If I may have a dream, may it be that people look more clearly at the way they expect others to conduct themselves, to come to realise that all of us have talents and abilities and we should use that as our guidance — not follow what is expected by others. Life is scary and unpredictable; that is as true as the COVID-19 virus.

There is no such thing as an ideal career or a perfect life. Imagine a scenario in which Jim Carrey was forced to work as an accountant and Marie Curie was forced to be a ballet dancer. Such actions only deprives society of the greatness that lies within all of us. We admire our heroes because they are true to their calling.

The closer you live to the truth or your true self, the better for society and yourself. Let us not live in regret, but in admiration.

Source : The South African More   

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Self care: How to properly unwind after a stressful day

Even though you are in lockdown, you might be finding your time at home just as stressful as a day's work at the office.

Self care: How to properly unwind after a stressful day

Sometimes you ignore your body’s whispers for rest and sometimes you convince yourself that you don’t deserve to take a break. 

We aren’t always able to avoid stress, but we are able to manage it. Giving your heart some time to rest has many benefits like keeping you focused, helping you overcome obstacles that require creativity and making sure you have enough energy for the next day’s tasks. 

Tips on how to make the most out of the little leisure time you have

1. Make your down time part of your schedule

Decide on when you are going to kick off your shoes, sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. When things get as busy as they normally do, by the end of the day it’s too late and you have to go to bed and sleep to be able to do it all again in the morning. Plan little breaks through the day.

2. Disconnect from whatever keeps you working

Avoid worrying about the next day’s work as if it’s tomorrow already. When you leave your desk, try to keep your thoughts about work to the minimum. If you are trying to unwind, still stressing about what will happen next will ruin the value of the few minutes you have to unwind. 

4. Get rid of the tension in your body

Run yourself a hot bath or shower. Water has a calming effect on the body and by taking a bath, you wash the tension away.

5. Listen to music

Maybe you’ve been listening to music all your life in order to keep yourself sane. Lower your heart rate by listening to soothing sounds that will calm you down. 

6. Try meditating or being mindful

There’s nothing complicated about finding a comfortable chair or lying in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and observing what you experience in and around your body. Use your breath. Taking deep breaths can lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. 

Make life enjoyable and satisfying by using the time you have to unwind and give your brain a break.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.

Source : The South African More   

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