there is an end to every crisis

Published on April 9, 2020

The current crisis we are facing will end, at some point.

I have no idea when this crisis will end, and even experts disagree on when our society will return to a point of relative normalcy. I also do not know how this crisis will end, and given how many factors need to be accounted for, it is impossible for anyone to know.

But I do know one thing: this will end. The restrictions on our lives right now -- and the current economic situation in which we find ourselves -- will pass, and we will be able to move on with our lives. Our lives will not be the same, but we will be able to move on.

Repeating this fact has made it easier for me to keep going throughout this crisis. Telling myself that this will end -- even if it is hard to believe -- gives me a light at the end of the tunnel. It gives me an anchor point on which I can focus my attention.

Because this crisis will end at some point, it means that giving up is not a solution to the problem. I made this mistake at first.

I allowed myself to ask: what is the point in these routines I have been building if this sort of thing could happen? My mind would wander to consider how meaningless everything in which I had invested my time was, on the grand scale of human society.

These thoughts were unproductive because they came from the perspective that this will never end -- that this is a permanent state of affairs. That, at least right now, does not appear to be true. We will move on from this, and after we progress I want to be able to look back and say that I conducted myself in the best possible way.

Our values do change during crises. For example, I now believe more in the importance of a strong government, if that government is assembled democratically. I am a supporter of maximal government intervention in people’s lives if such intervention could prevent the spread of a major national crisis that threatens our way of living.

But, some things do not change. The fact that we need a job does not change. The fact that we need to eat healthily to be our best selves does not change. These are stable truths that cannot be ignored, even in times of crisis.

I have been continuing to tell myself that this crisis will end at some point, and that gives me the motivation I need to keep going. I know that the work I am doing right now is important, even if it does not feel that way sometimes. I know that, if I work hard, I will get through this.

Things inevitably happen in life. Some of those things are good, and some of them are bad. But we should never let this prospect interfere with our personal development. For instance, I could have given up on my exercise routine last week. Why should I exercise if the world seems to be falling apart? Well, the reason why is that in a few months I still want to be healthy, and exercising is a necessary part of maintaining my health.

There is always something unexpected that could happen, and it is reasonable to expect those events to impact your life. A few weeks ago I did not know what to think about what was going on. But now that things are clearer, I recognize the importance of seeing the end point. There will be an end to this, and we have to keep going.

Do you have any feedback on this blog post? Send me an email.
Do you want to hear more from me? Subscribe to my weekly Coffee with James newsletter.
Subscribe
Made by @jamesg_oca. Code on GitHub.