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After every storm comes growth

By Rhea Jones

Dear Mom & Dad

People are well aware of the problems that this pandemic is causing.

In fact, that’s pretty much all everyone talks about anymore.

However, there is one major question that we have neglected to answer; what’s next?  What do we want our world to look like once all of this is over? People keep saying they can’t wait for things to go back to normal, but to believe that everything will be the exact same once this is over is simply naive.

There are no doubt going to be some major changes in both our personal lives, and in society as a whole. Before we contemplate the changes of society we need to start on a personal level. Everyone’s lives have been shook up from the closing of non-essential businesses, schools, and all other activities.

However, the silver lining is that families are finally spending more time together. When life gets busy people don’t prioritize small things like playing catch with your family, a movie night, or even just a family dinner.

Although these seem insignificant, it’s the simple moments spent together that bond a family. People finally have the time to strengthen their familial relationships which is something our world has previously failed to prioritize in stressful times.

Speaking of priorities, there’s nothing like a crisis to set them straight. This “pause” in the world gives people a chance to re-evaluate their lives, and make changes that they’ve been meaning to make but haven’t had the time or energy. This is an opportunity for people to move their careers forward or change them entirely if it’s no longer something that brings them joy.

Now is a great time for personal development so that when things reopen people can take on the world with a healthier and clearer mindset. The difference between those who will emerge from this stronger and more successful vs. those who will struggle is whether they frame adversity as an obstacle or an opportunity.

Now on a larger scale, this worldwide emergency is going to change social normalities and everyday life even when COVID-19 no longer imposes a serious threat.

So what will our new normal look like? Is social distancing going to be encouraged every flu and cold season? Will our economy continue in a state of recession?

What personal liberties are we willing to sacrifice for public health? Regardless of which side your opinion is on, the important part is that by asking ourselves these tough questions we are provoking critical thinking within ourselves and others.  

 Although all this uncertainty can seem overwhelming, as a society it is crucial that we are proactive in making sure that all upcoming changes are in our best interest instead of waiting for decisions to be made for us.

So let’s decide what changes we want to see in our society, and let’s make them happen with the time that we are suddenly blessed with. After every storm there is growth and this pandemic is no exception.

Although this is a tough time for our world no storm lasts forever. The saying “Every cloud has a silver lining” can seem overly optimistic, however, focusing on the positives and putting your efforts towards improving things in the future certainly won’t hurt. 

Although we can not change our current situation and it is easy to feel out of control, we still have the power to influence what’s to come next. Let’s use this power to make ourselves, our world, and our voices stronger than they’ve ever been before.

Rhea Jones is a French immersion student at Foothills Composite High School who loves to write and share her ideas. Her goal with her column Dear Mom and Dad is to encourage youth to read and participate with the Western Wheel.