I think the phrase “in these trying times, we must adjust” is one that most of us have been hearing a lot this year. Whether we are starting classes online, taking up a new craft or creating new memories with family or friends, it’s clear that we have all had to adjust—to our surroundings and also the restrictive nature of the pandemic. Yet possibly the most understated change that we have made is the desire to create, explore and self-reflect.
I asked myself the other day why it seems we don’t always do the things we mean to do, even when we have the time. Why is it that our stockpile of goals keeps building up and our projects seem to get put on hold? Our motivation depends on the priorities and choices that we make. It is hard to come home from an eight-hour work day and want to train for a triathlon or take up a new craft. Others could say that our everyday routine puts us into a state of predictable, eternal stability.
Our apathetic mindset demotivates us, leading us to believe that we will always have time to complete tasks when in fact we may not. Now, however, people have been expressing their creativity in more ways than ever despite our increased level of restriction.
I believe that the concept of equilibrium can explain a great deal of phenomena in our universe, including this pandemic’s motivation surge. Because of the lack of variety coming from our interactions with other people and places, we may compensate through the use of our creative abilities. Our creativity has led us to find new ways to see friends virtually and from a distance, find new talents, create new ways for students to learn and spread compassion to others in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding consequences have led me to realize that a sudden change in our environment can jolt us into reflection about our values and the human condition itself. This contemplation allows us to find compassion and gratitude for the wonderful things that we have experienced, showing us that we can always find inner motivation if we try.
Tracey Nelson ’23 is from Woodbury, MN.