What COVID-19 can teach us about work 2.

It happened to many of us. We heard the news, this new virus was spreading in different parts of the world, despite the efforts to contain it. And in my case, two weeks ago, we were told we had to stop going to work.

I will admit I was worried, like everybody else, because not working means not getting paid. Not only my vacation plans for this year were on the line, but many more important things were too. My livelihood, the rent for the place where I live, being able to feed my pets, and a long etcetera.

But i have to tell the truth. I was more excited than worried. I will admit I have been scared to make a major change in my life, and this reality changing virus is giving me a massive opportunity.

Yes, at times I had some catastrophic ideas, of never being able to work again, which in turn extended to nobody being able to work again, and then what would happen?

But I also sensed a very profound hope, that there are many things to be done, and if thid virus destroys life as we know it, it is certainly a great opportunity to build something entirely new, not with the ashes or even the foundations of what existed before, but something entirely new.

I have heard many people wishing to go back to normal as soon as possible. I wonder, why would we want to go back to normal? Was “normal” that great? I don’t think so.

For starters, look at all the people who cannot do home office, either because they are essential workers or because their working every day is essential to making ends meet. Why is it normal that there are essential workers on the one hand, while the majority of people do jobs that not only are not essential to humankind, they are soul-destroying for the people who do them.

I think this pandemic has opened our life to another possibility, namely that in which the reality which we hold so dear is not real at all, rather it is a construct we believe to be true, but which does nothing but limit us and enslave us.

But if we go beyond what we used to believe as the truth, we will see that if everything were destroyed, there would be millions of opportunities of doing different, unthinkable things.

And why not? I am not saying, don’t worry about your family, about how you’re going to give them food and shelter. What I’m saying is, worry, yes, but also open your eyes. What can you do differently?

Many of my co-workers and people from hundreds of companies are angry and complain that businesses and enterprises should help their employees more, that they should provide them with enough money to overcome this crisis. And while I agree that employment situations in many countries are nothing short of slavery, and that companies should pay the loyalty of employess in kind, it is not what happening in most cases, either because the company does not want or need to protect its employees or it is unable to absorb the financial load this quarantine is placing on them.

But this is only another example of what I said before, so why do we want to go back to normal? In my case, the school where I work subsidised the teachers who lost part of their income due to the quarantine. And this is something wonderful, which we are thankful for. On the other hand, though, we were at the mercy of the school and its willingness to help us and the financial feasibility of said help.

And why should we be at the mercy of anyone or anything? Why should we depend entirely on what a person or institution thinks is ok to do for us, or even possible? For me, this pandemic is a very important sign that now is the time to start constructing our own opportunities.

What are they? It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to talk about passions, or hobbies, or side hustles just yet. The truth is that whatever you do is fine, as long as you take control of the ways in which you create or produce your own wealth. It doesn’t mean to leave that job, it means that you take control, at least partially, of what happens in your life and that you ALWAYS have other options.

It means that you are where you are because you want to. But if you didn’t want to, you could move elsewhere, because you have other projects, other sources of income.

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