I'm thinking of getting my first tattoo. (Sorry Mum!) It will read - This too shall pass.
As we all begin to tire of Stage 3 restrictions in the face of the threat of COVID19, we should all keep in mind that - this too shall pass. In order to continually remind myself of the impermanence of everything I think I may have this imprinted on my wrist.
However, I am aware that I may find that my need to get this tattoo will also pass (irony intended). "This too shall pass" is first found in the works of Persian Sufi poets. The Buddhist and Hindu faiths use the term "Anicca" for the concept of impermanence. Everything changes, everything will change, nothing will be the same always.
The idea is also focused on by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus when he said "No man will ever step in the same river twice." As we struggle with the seemingly endless restrictions of this second lockdown, we must keep front and centre in our minds that this time will not last.
There will come a time when we will look back and say "Ah, remember those days of the global pandemic, when most of us had to stay home.
"When we didn't have to rush between appointments, when we had time to make a great dinner, when we had time for our hobbies, when we had time for our garden, when we could fit in a workout every day, when we could read for hours."
"Mono no aware" is a Japanese concept describing the wistful sadness of a moment that has passed. Perhaps we shall look back in wistfulness about this time.
At time when we didn't need to rush, when we didn't have to dress up, when we didn't have to think up excuses in order to avoid tedious social events.
If there's one thing to be really thankful for in all this time at home, it's that there is no possibility of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Of course, there are those for whom this time is one of great fear and stress, and we must reach out with compassion to those who have lost loved ones, and with empathy and gratitude to those who are working on the front-line and putting themselves in peril through working in the medical and aged-care sectors.
But for most of us, the tedium of staying put and wearing our masks is our personal contribution to the battle against this pandemic.
If you feel yourself succumbing to the strain of these restrictions, perhaps remember the poet Maya Angelou's words - If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Personally, I will be trying to smile a little as I put on my mask, and when I glance at the tattoo, I will remind myself - this too shall pass.
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