COVID-19 is introducing us to someone we haven't met
But one thing we can't afford to be afraid of is the process of looking inward and understanding what makes us tick.
It is working for me. So far, so good. Even as an introvert -- who had to transition from working at home alone to suddenly being surrounded by his wife and kids 24/7, as they also work and attend online classes from home -- the experience of sheltering in place due to California's stay-at-home order has been lonely and intense.
It's the journey of introspection that has helped get me by while being locked up. And, in the process, here are 10 lessons that I've learned about myself, my family, and my country.
-- My mother really did know best when she told me growing up to wash my hands, don't waste food, share what I had, don't rush through life, and look out for others.
-- Our health is not everything. It's the only thing. And the older we get, the more we come to realize that.
-- Money isn't as important as we make it out to be. There is always more opportunity around the corner. Or you're standing on the wrong corner.
-- It's our choices in life, from saving money to holding down multiple jobs to choosing the right partner, that determine our destiny.
-- A crisis brings out the best in some people, the worst in others. It doesn't change who you are. It highlights who you are.
-- Values, virtues and attributes are not found in human beings in equal measure. Some have many, others have none.
-- Those business owners who are ingenious, innovative and intuitive enough to adapt will survive the shutdown. Those who aren't probably won't.
-- It's a silly waste of time to divide up the human race by color, income, gender, religion, and all the rest. A pandemic is the great equalizer.
-- We're not all in the same boat, no matter what politicians say. We're in the same storm. But we're in different boats.
-- In a crisis, leadership can be as scarce as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
One day, this crisis will fade. I hope these lessons never do.
Ruben Navarrette's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.
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