Are we going to be better parents? Are we going to live more meaningful lives?
It will be wonderful if we are eventually able to reemerge into health, fully engaged and productive people. For now, we must wait and concentrate on the inner self while the outer world contends with formidable adverse forces.
So far, during this pause here in New York City, I witnessed in Central Park and Riverside Park more parents simply playing with their children, sometimes just with sticks, leaves or “play pretend” or “Simon Says” and, incredibly, they were not rushing or on their phone as usual. Because there no longer is any ‘usual,’ at least for now.
Some people are more optimistic about the future and others still remember clearly that in NYC we all became very mellow and kinder with each other after September 11th. The personal and wider social lesson is to reestablish, sooner than later, those Gotham City rhythms and focus on consuming and producing faster and faster again.
I am confident that we will get better, especially those who already possess the seeds of well-being and mindfulness. The heart should direct the future and help nurture a more positive lifestyle for the individual self as well as families and friends.
I see as a great opportunity for us to discover new values, where less is more, and the care for our environment is not questionable, and the time with our love ones is remembered to be the most precious achievement.
On the other hand, for people with particular interests, time is money. Therefore,it will be necessary to catch up on suspended goals and activities no matter the pressure or difficulty.
As we try to cope with such a contagious global situation, what about infecting people hearts with good vibes and better examples?
Remote Learning Witness
I watched last week a Zoom Conference from my son’s school with a noted psychologist and she presented a detailed guide advising families to establish routines and create “Family Meetings” and rules for everyone to help at home.
I was not surprised by any of her suggestions. However, to be quite honest I thought it was amazing that despite so much advanced technology and professional degrees that we share, we are all together learning and practicing very basic skills to communicate better and reviewing the importance of following manners, because it matters.
Therefore, reinforcing the need of looking at each other in the eye and finding ways to establish respect and authority at home between family members should be our urgent collective resolve.
Today, we need the help of the schools, intellectual community, and specialists to help reestablish that order through advice, instruction, and example.
In the beginning of the remote and online schooling I was astonished with the rush-- from Pre-K levels through high school age-- to get EVERYONE at home online and occupied, without any preparedness or pre-training plan for parents.
As soon as I noticed schools and parents proudly posting online their children’s signs at their room’s doors sayings such as “Do not disturb, I am in class,” I thought: “OMG, we are losing them! This is not going to work because we started this “new normal” without humanizing the process a little bit, establishing strong communal sense and rules for behavioral boundaries and healthier habits. Children of all ages might now use the excuse of online learning and living to be locked in their world. Re-educatign them will be, in turn, another change, in fact, another challenge.
I faced this battle myself with my teenage son when I tried to foster an uplifting “new normal” environment at home during the very first remote school day. I suggested that he studyin the living room instead of his bedroom for a change. Alas, it did not work at all. I learned after several days that as a mother in this New Normal World (NNW) my approach had to readjust. I became a combination anthropologist and primatologist, like Jane Goodal and her gorilla. I will give details later.
This New Normal World needs to look backward for inspiration: Going back to basics and establishing routines with kindness and using every opportunity to connect family, face to face and heart to heart.
Blaming the E-World and Social Media cannot be our ready convenient excuses anymore for personal and familial disconnection and dissatisfaction. We must use our personal communication tools more wisely than ever. NOW we have time to face the dynamic of our families and there is no reason t abandon this crucial effort.
Who am I to insist on this mandate for etiquette activism?
A woman, a mother a human being who has been advocating for going back to basics in order to repair the present and restore the future!
We must develop our ability to be kind, secure, and consistent with our decisions. (As we are their first role models for life, right?)
So, regardless age group and interests, we all need to face our NNW reality and pay attention to the way that we are dealing with our genuine and real daily challenges, because we all are.