Today is, I think, a day to take stock, to reflect upon my first 16 posts and to look to the future in terms of how these posts might shape up as I moved forwards with my writing and reporting. I would understand if people have found my posts so far to be a little less than satisfactory as they have wandered somewhat across my personal thoughts and reflections on how I am and how I am living.
However, there is a Covid-19 point in the midst of all of my reflections. A pandemic that, for now at least, seems to pose a significant threat to countries across the globe should really prompt some soul searching in terms of how we are living our lives. Looking back at what I have written over the past 16 days or so, I believe that this is what has been happening to me, although, fair to say, I was not always cognizant of this fact.
The other point that has come to mind since I returned from Thailand is that I have become caught up once again with the routines of my life. This has included being far too busy at work such that I have found no real time to reflect on the fact that a pandemic is sweeping across the globe. The fact of having lost sight of the pandemic is unforgiveable for someone such as myself, someone who has always lived life with a deep existential awareness of the finite nature of our days.
In this context, the meaning that we make of the limited time that we have upon this earth has always been the most pressing of questions for me. And yet, here I am living in a moment in history when the world is threatened by a new, incredibly contagious virus and I am spending my days focussing almost exclusively on my work. There is an absurdity in this state of affairs and it is, I believe, an awareness of this absurdity that is prompting me to reorient myself towards living a different kind of life.
These thoughts can be expressed in the form of a question that everyone should be asking themselves. What judgement would I place upon my life if I were to contract the Covid-19 virus tomorrow? Thus, the virus presents a unique opportunity, at least for people living in developed Western nations. We have been provided with an opportunity to address questions that ought to be core to our time upon this earth. These questions have to do with whether we are are living rich, meaningful and fulfilled lives that will satisfy us when we look back at them on our deathbeds.
I have read sufficient philosophical and psychological texts to know with absolute certainty that reviewing our lives at the very end of our days is something that we will inevitably do. I know too that it is those who were brave in their lives who will look back upon their years with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. There is no formula for living a meaningful life. People will find different meanings but what will be common to each life will be having faced the difficult decisions that resulted in becoming more than we might have been.
First Published March 15th, 2020