Boris Johnson has cancelled Christmas, causing the British masses to upend their holiday plans. The devastating cyclone Yasa has blazed through Fiji like an exuberant toddler leaving a swathe of destruction in its path. In Australia, thousands of people’s Christmas plans (including my own family’s) have rapidly unraveled as a new Covid-19 outbreak spreads through parts of Greater Sydney.
These disruptive events are to many the final blow to what has been an incredibly challenging year. This year’s events have emphasised to me the plethora of uncertainties that characterise life. It’s hard when things don’t occur as planned and we are forced to adapt to unforeseen changes and restrictions to our freedom, festivities and family life. On the contrary, this year has also revealed the multitude of things in life which we can attempt to control.
We didn’t explicitly or knowingly choose this pandemic and the consequent impacts on our lives (although research suggests that our destruction of biodiversity, particularly in remote and wild places may be providing circumstances for unknown diseases to spread from animals to humans). We can’t control our political leader’s response (or lack there of) to Covid-19 and how their actions impact our lives. Similarly, small island nations have little control over the increasingly extreme weather events which threaten their existence. However, through this maze of unpredictability, there are pockets of life we can control.
- We can choose to be gentle on ourselves, granting ourselves time to restore, reflect and re-energise when we need it.
- We can choose to be kind to others. The astounding ripple effect that perceived tiny acts of kindness can on society is discussed in this short podcast on the Live More Feel Better series (worth a listen if for nothing else but to hear the charming Scottish accent!).
- We can choose nourishing food and drink to consume.
- We can choose to support local, sustainable businesses that align with our values.
- We can choose to reach out to those who are lonely (likely many) this Christmas, and others who may be suffering for whatever reason.
- We can choose the way we react to challenging social interactions, including potentially tense family encounters which can emerge during the holiday season.
- We can choose to marvel at nature and try to incorporate some of its wisdom into our lives.
- We can choose to live boldly, using our talents to enlighten the lives of others and spread hope during trying times.
- We can choose to be grateful for what we have rather than focus on what we do not.
Sending you all light, love and laughter over the holiday period.
Arohanui (much love in Māori)
An Ethical Yarn