The Anatomy of a Lockdown

By Alfredo Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES – In Chinese, especially in the Mandarin dialect, the words “crisis” and “opportunity” are written with the same two Chinese characters. This ancestral wisdom tells us that something good is also inevitably born from every misfortune.

In Cuba, I remember old people saying that “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Wise people know that hardship goes hand-in-hand with sufficient means, and misfortune is the neighbor of good fortune, in some way or another. It has always been this way.

This lockdown might be the beginning of a new path for the human being, and I want to take a moment to note that I see “human being” and not “humanity”. Indeed, the challenge we have today as individuals is to change ourselves before changing anything else.

Fate (if that’s what it was) has worked magic and has imposed quarantine on us at the most unexpected time. People are in isolation to heal society, from a pandemic in this case. We have been forced into solitude, but this solitude also means introspection. Knowing how to make the most of it is a challenge, which we as individuals have before us.

I am almost sure that those of us who have managed to make this lockdown creative; in terms of quality of thought, work plans, as well as taking up personal goals that we had put on the backburner; will come out of this situation with a much more solid emotional base to face the future.

This situation will undoubtedly bring countless good things, especially for the individual and their self-fulfillment. Never before, in modern times, have people had such a long period of time for themselves, to be able to reflect, think about the meaning of life, friendship, Nature, of what is truly important.

Cuban TV host and motivational speaker, Ismael Cala, has introduced the term “Creative quarantine”, in which he recommends the following to keep us on track: only watching the news twice a day, as an overload of information can make us lose our center. Cala also proposes we travel within and seek moments of solitude and silence, as well as to keep an appreciation diary: writing four or five things in the morning for what we are most thankful for in our lives, at the moment we leave our dreams and take on our physical body again.

Cala tells us that these small pieces of advice will help us start our day, with a calm head, which is the key to keeping our personal decisions under our control and not in the hands of our base emotions.

The lockdown transformed into “Creative quarantine”, by a personal decision, can be the vehicle that guides us to a better relationship with ourselves. There is no doubt about it. It can be the process in which one identifies (better even) how to live their lives, who the “energy thieves” are, and where to place our real priorities in life, once and for all. The ones that support self-fulfillment.  

Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.



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