As I sit down past midnight to write with the hopes that I may calm my racing thoughts, I can’t help but ruminate about the impact of this COVID-19. We often heard the word “viral” when referring to a video or post that reached extensive amounts of people, but did we really understand what that meant?
There is a difference between knowing and understanding.
I knew viral meant that it became very popular, very fast; that it was contagious. After witnessing my children give 6ft away “air hugs” to their grandparents who live across the street, I can say I understand the contagiousness suggested in the word viral.
I knew losing a child was painful, but now I understand how excruciating it really is.
I knew homeschooling would be hard for working parents, but I didn’t quite understand it until I forcefully became my children’s teacher.
I knew scarcity and unemployment were stressful, but this communal downfall has revealed another level of understanding.
I knew health was the greatest of all riches, but I didn’t quite understand to what extreme until I witnessed our world gravely ill.
I knew doctors and nurses were God’s angels, but my understanding of their heroic deeds has my heart at the verge of exploding out of gratitude for them.
I knew that this was an amazing country, but after applying for a loan that will help my small business in this crisis, I understand how lucky I am to be American.
I knew the military protected us, but I understood their sacrifice when it was my client risking his life for the well-being of our country.
I knew gratitude leads to bliss, but I truly got it when I heard myself say I was thankful to be chosen to be the mother of angel.
I knew that faith is a great virtue, but I understand now that without it I would be a hopeless breathing corpse.
We know a lot of things conceptually, but we don’t truly understand them until we’ve been hit like a ton of bricks.
AND WE HAVE. Our world understands. We now truly get why rapid and wide circulation of content is referred to as viral.
But what do we do with this understanding?
This is the moment in which we choose whether we want to selfishly hold on to this understanding for our own vainglory or share it with others to annul ignorance. Or maybe we take it a step further and decide to rise up to the highest level of comprehension: WISDOM.
Wisdom is the application of our understanding. It is when we live what we comprehend.
Allowing ourselves to feel and embrace the pain when we experience loss.
Being thoughtful with our children’s teachers because we now value their gifts wholeheartedly.
Exercising responsibility with our finances after witnessing how money is an illusion.
Taking care of our bodies through the practice of healthy habits.
Staying home quarantined so that those doctors risking their lives can go home too.
Honoring and serving our country because it is the greatest advocate of our dreams.
Supporting our military families for their devotion towards our people.
Having a grateful heart for what is, even when it doesn’t match our wish.
Believing that God’s plans for us are better than our own.
Wisdom builds character. It develops virtues.
The greatest of these is possibly compassion. When people are wise enough to exercise mercy, they become healers. Compassion heals by bringing hope to suffering. It gives doctors, nurses, soldiers, teachers, and other heroes like you and me the power to look outward in service rather than inward to satisfy our own needs.
Mercy also heals us when we implement it with ourselves.
It yields self-love and forgiveness when we are tormented by guilt and self-loathing. It abolishes judgment. It strengthens relationships.
Mercy is the greatest gift of love. It saves lives when we are moved to donate our own bodies to help the ill and bring hope to those in despair. Compassion generates kindness and makes ourselves and our world better.
Having the wisdom to practice compassion is then the antidote of this crisis we are in. It is time to apply our understanding of the word “viral” by contributing to rapidly and widely circulating the cure of COVID-19—or as I will refer to it: COVID-100.
If COVID-19 stands for COrona VIrus Disease that begun in 2019, its antidote refers to COmpassion VIrtue Defeats 100% of the pain, fear, and illness in our world.
Compassion truly defeats pain and disease.
I’ve witnessed first-hand the healing power of human kindness during these difficult times. People have exercised mercy by offering groceries to those that have lost their jobs, sending food to the medical staff at the hospital, giving teachers thoughtful gifts, donating plasma to save patients in critical state, sharing posts on social media requesting help, hope and healing prayers; doing car caravans to make someone feel loved on his/her birthday, calling the grandparents to ensure they never feel lonely, and all sorts of grand gestures that emanated from compassionate hearts. Even staying home—for those that have the fortune of doing so—is an act of consideration and compassion, as we contribute to being part of the solution to this problem.
Be WISE. Practice COMPASSION. Heal our world.
Help this message go viral by applying your understanding; that is, by exercising the wisdom and mercy that you’ve acquired from these times of adversity. Let your kindness and compassion be CONTAGIOUS, VIRAL, PANDEMIC.
Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud –Maya Angelou
Meet my cousin, Yeily Truffin. When her mother asked if she experienced fear, her response was, “No mom, I’m not afraid for myself; I’m only afraid if we don’t have enough beds for patients.” Is she not a hero?
This blog is for you, prima. May God continue to bless you so that you can use your wisdom, compassion and courage to heal our people. I love and admire you deeply.