Fear and action in crisis

05 April 2020 by
Courage is not the lack of fear Courage is not the lack of fear
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The current corona virus epidemic has turned everybody’s life upside down.

 There are some who became ill, others have already lost their jobs, people huddled up in their homes. But if it wasn’t enough, we can hear the possibility of a world economic crisis from everywhere.


According to Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to changes.” Perhaps it is not so different for humans either, and one way or another, fear is always a side affect in these cases.


In my family for example it is a generational habit. My grandma grew up during the war, so she is afraid of everything and everybody. We cannot even tell her during times of peace that one of her family members is going to leave the borders of the town or the country, as it is equal to a catastrophe for her. Some of my relatives can feel its effect even today, for example one of them is afraid of getting on a bus, another one is scared of getting into a car, and I would be able to list some other phobias as well.


Therefore I decided not to take part in the collective panic evolved in the current situation either, and also I will not give it to the future generation accidentally. Anyway I have always been proud of being able to handle changes and being fond of challenges, this is why I decided to start working as a full-time self-employed private teacher and translator ten months ago. But switching to online video chat lessons rapidly within 24 hours gave a huge task even to me. Particularly because it can be heard everywhere that the company which doesn’t have savings will bleed out now. So I had to worry about this too, on top of the possible illness.


But it is something like throwing a weak swimmer in at the deep end. At first he is scared of drowning, but then he accepts the situation, lets the fear emerge through his mind and then he acts, meaning that he starts to swim steadfastly in spite of his fear. Because:


“Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it.” (Mark Twain)


So I also listed the things to do:


  • At first I thought over the impacts of the worst possible scenario, and what I could do against it.

  • I realized that reading all of the daily news about the end of the world will not help the situation, so I decreased this habit to the minimum level.

  • Meanwhile we started to arrange the garden to have fruits and vegetables during the worst possible times in the future as well.

  • I got masks and the gloves, as it is important to be careful, and we have to take care of our own and other people’s health.
  • Since we basically don’t go anywhere, I gave a shopping list to the owner of one of the local small shops about the things we need in the following few weeks, and she collected it for us within a week.
  • I started to develop and to work out a new business plan version A for now, and additional potential versions B and C, for long term as well.


Additionally, I also listed the good things that the situation has brought:


  • I spend more time with my family.

  • I have ample time to read.

  • I don’t run from one workplace to another.

  • I don’t waste money on the actual needs of my family.

  • Other values took priority over the material things.

  • I prettify the garden, thereby I get closer to the nature.

  • I have time to cook.

  • And at last I have opportunity to enjoy the moment in my slowed-down life.

  • In addition, even my timid adopted dog, Foxy, sneaked out from the little room, and regularly spends his time among us relaxing on the sofa in the living room.


Meanwhile I understood  that anxiety and fear is natural now, I accepted their temporary presence, and after a few weeks both feelings disappeared by action.


The positive effects of keeping pets gained proof again, as my dog also helped with reducing anxiety, not to mention the stress reducing influence of my cats.


The change has just started and I believe it will bring good things on a long term, because there are always ups after downs. Maybe a life will come, where instead of chasing money we will all take care of our own health, of each other, of the animals and the nature around us too.


Until that time, on top of drafting survival plans, we will definitely help ourselves if we appreciate and experience the small beauties of life, and we act despite our fear.



(The Hungarian translation is available on www.onbizalomfejlesztes.hu.)


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