A letter to my pre-COVID-19 self

Dear pre-COVID-19 self,

 

2020 will be full of uncertainty and unexpected challenges. It will begin like any other year, but it will be extraordinary.

 

Every generation lives through hardships, whether it’s a natural disaster, war, or plague. I don’t know what challenges you will face, but I know it will change everything.

 

So here are some things I want you should know:

 

Take care of what you can. You can choose how you react to challenges, how you treat your family, how you speak with others, and how you care for yourself.

 

Believe that other people are doing their best. They may be having a hard day too. They have to follow “the rules” even if they don’t like them, and the people who make those rules usually have good intentions.

 

Decide what is most important to you. Sometimes your life is filled with so many distractions that you can lose sight of the important things. Think about the things you planned to do “one day” or “next time.” What can you do “right now”?

 

Let go of things out of your control. There will always be things that are unfair, things you can’t change but just have to live with, like the weather, or certain health conditions, or a genetic predisposition, or your family. But you have control over other things, so…

 

Take a stand for what you believe in. Out of your control doesn’t mean you are powerless. Whether you sign a well-written petition or write a persuasive letter, talk respectfully with a friend or march peacefully in a protest, or make informed choices when you vote… you can change opinions, you can challenge ideas, and you can raise expectations.

 

Change starts with you. Someone else won’t change their beliefs, their habits, or their prejudices on their own. Show them that it can be done, show them how to do it, propose solutions, and be a role model and mentor.

 

And when things are back to “normal,” keep the changes that makes things better. You don’t have to back to the way things were. Take the best changes and make them part of your everyday life.

 

How will you react to the coming challenges? What will you write to your future self?

 

With aloha,

Your future self

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