For me, getting older means it’s getting easier to find the silver lining in things. Including pandemics.
With over a year and a half to overanalyze COVID, one of the most apparent byproducts is how it served as an accelerant.
For businesses, it was a time to try new things since there was little to lose. If a company was tinkering with a new idea, it was the right time to go all in. If it fails, blame COVID.
But for those who were already anxiety-ridden due to the state of the world in general, it certainly made things much worse.
And for some with extreme political leanings, it only further radicalized them. Your Facebook feed should provide ample proof of that.
Personally, one of the best things to come out of the pandemic was a global reawakening regarding the preciousness of life.
Not just the “life” that concerns doctors, nurses and triage centers, but the life that we wake up and live each day.
For so many, it has served as a great wake-up call about their own existence and reexamining their priorities.
Lately, I’ve found great interest in how our workforce is reemerging and the challenges that go along with reopening a global economy after a pandemic.
An interesting thing happens when you shut down and then resume a global economy. Turns out, things don’t always get back to normal.
In August 2021, a record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, with many citing burnout.
A recent survey revealed nearly one-third of workers who quit started their own businesses, while 95 percent of workers admitted they are considering quitting.
And while popular belief might be that these folks are now sitting at home collecting a check, it’s not necessarily so. No longer content to wake up and go to work at a “job,” many are now forging their own path.
That’s a bold move in this current economic climate with gas prices and inflation assuring us nothing is going to be cheap for a while.
But for those stuck in “good enough” jobs, and feeling the fragility of time, it was a wake-up call to get up and do something they can be proud of; to create a personal legacy.
Some felt that they were tired of working for someone else and believed it was time to make their own mark. Others decided being a parent was their top priority and shifted their workload to accommodate.
It’s unfortunate that it takes a pandemic to make us take a good hard look at what we truly value, but it’s better late than never.
Because ultimately, the ones who prevail after hardship are those who spent that time working to improve themselves instead of finding someone to blame.
Life is short, and so are our windows to make a difference. The legacy of this pandemic will ultimately be reflected in how it changed you.
Did you change for the better?
Clay Neely is co-publisher and managing editor of The Newnan Times-Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org