Updated: May 8, 2020
Writer: Athaya Hardono | Illustrator: Safira Marini W. | Editor: Kinar Nisa
The unforeseen COVID-19 outbreak came like a bolt from the blue. The way it stunned the world has brought sudden changes to our lives. The plummeting economy, increasing death tolls, panic buying – all we hear from the news seems to be utterly devastating. While scientists from all over the world are racing to help find a cure for the disease, the least we could do is spread kindness; to heal our minds from all the negativity that is arising and believing that indeed everything will turn out just fine.
LESS IS MORE
This is the time to show gratitude for things you have had, but took for granted. While being pinned down to your homes could mean having restricted activities, it is easier to realise now that living a content life does not need any luxurious holiday trips to distant places, dinner at fancy restaurants or checking in at that new hyped coffee shop for the sake of social media. Holding an important meeting does not need any expensive banquet at a five-star hotel, but a straight-to-the-point conference call. Wearing the most expensive piece of clothing or showing off your latest buy won’t be necessary as what you need now is just a pair of comfortable loungewear. It is easier to realise now, that the materials we sought after and considered a necessity, is not a necessity – and we took our health for granted; considered them as a tertiary when it is actually a necessity. So while being forced to stay at home could be a real pain in the arse, try to be grateful for all the things you have had, you have now and what you will have. The next time you are still able to see the sun come out, be grateful, go outside and enjoy the sun. The next time you wake up and still have a healthy functioning body, be grateful, take a walk or go exercise. Even if you still have nothing to do right now, be grateful, enjoy your free time because you deserve a break and will never know if tomorrow you have to work all day and have no time to spare for even yourself. So being grateful, is the key to feeling that having less could mean much more.
RECONNECTING WITH OTHERS
In times of dire, nothing’s more alleviating than having a friend to lean on. Grab your phones and text them to see how they’re doing. Nothing could go wrong in checking on those who seem like they’re okay or those who are just far away. During quarantine, some of us (like those who are studying or working abroad) may have to be by ourselves without family and friends. A comforting message from an unexpected someone could always brighten up one’s day. Don’t hesitate to reach out, because a simple hello could mean so much kindness to others.
SPRING CLEANING THAT LEADS TO GIVING
There are no more excuses! With a handful of time to spare, this is the time for you to finally do those neglected chores you need to do but didn’t do because of a thousand excuses not to. So go ahead and pick up your tools and clean your closet, the pile of files on your desk, or that stacked carton in your living room. When you’re done sorting things out, do not merely throw away your garbage! Try to keep what’s still decent and nice, and ask a friend whether they’d be needing it or not. If you still have something to spare, why not give it away to the less fortunate and organize yourself a charity? Who knows, that outdated blouse from your closet could mean something more for another person who doesn’t have the privilege to update their closet every season like you do. By doing this, you’ll do something good for both yourself and others; A clean room for you, and a gift for others.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
In times where everything is full of uncertainty, anxiety often gets the best of us. Apart from us international students who still don’t know when to book a flight back to Beppu, this is especially true for our ojek (re: a motorcycle delivery guy) and taxi drivers back home in Indonesia. As soon as the government imposed a stay-at-home measure for its population, their number of customers, thus daily income plunged immediately. Not having a fixed salary paid to their accounts each month, they struggled relentlessly to make end’s meet from day to day. This is where kindness kicks in. Try to randomly order food for them using a prepaid payment method so they could enjoy the food you’re also ordering or use their service intentionally and give them extra tip. These small acts of kindness could help them pay their bills or bring food to their tables. And if you think this is too much effort to do, don’t worry because there are much simpler things to do, that is even more applicable to every sort of situation. Here’s one example: Whenever someone sneezes or coughs, do not make that alarmed response on your face and make them feel like a threat. It is still okay to say bless you and if possible, hand them over a tissue or a mask (while still practicing social distancing measures, of course!). It is important that in this time of crisis, we come hand in hand to support each other in circumstances of love, health and wealth. While it is important to care for yourself first, it is also important to be mindful of others.
We dedicate this writing to those feeling disappointed, to those who had to cancel their long-awaited plans, to those having a hard time paying their monthly bills, to those who got laid off from their jobs and to those who just lost their loved ones. This is a writing that we hope could encourage everyone to keep their heads up high despite the world turning upside down. We pray that everyone will have the serenity to accept, and those hearts who are burdened will be eased. We hope that everyone could find their own silver lining in everything they do and believe that there’s always room for kindness in every situation.
Last but not least, we thank you for sparing time to read. We hope that everyone is in good health and in safe places until all is well. See you in our next post!