The Freedom to Choose

Photo: Juan Suarez

By Esther Zoza

HAVANA TIMES – I have always believed that we each have the choice to choose how we feel.  Right now, during the lockdown because of COVID-19, everyone on this planet should take a moment and ask themselves how they want to feel.

Many of our fellow Cubans have chosen pessimism. Some foresee hunger and a never-ending list of calamities on the horizon. Others, luckily, know that the mind is our worst enemy. Yet if we know how to use it, it can also be our best friend.

Becoming conscious of the power of our mind is necessary, during these unprecedented times. A mind focused on positive thoughts will surely be a much healthier mind, that is able to keep our body in-sync.

Building up unnecessary feelings of loneliness and neglect causes a lot of damage to our immune system. We are a perfectly designed machine to overcome hardship, our evolution is proof of that.

Over centuries, people have overcome countless epidemics and natural disasters. We have crossed oceans, settled in unknown continents and that has all been thanks to the power of our mind.

According to Albert Einstein: “It’s in crisis that inventiveness is born, as well as discoveries made and big strategies.” It is only if we stand up to COVID-19 with every resource we have, that we will be able to overcome it.

Not everyone has let themselves be overcome by pessimism in Cuba. Many have turned to creativity. My friend Mercy, a scriptwriter by trade, is now without work and she has discovered that she can draw, even recreate the classics, much to family and friends’ delight. 

One of my cousins has started to write, and she does it surprisingly well.  My neighbor’s son strums his guitar chords every afternoon, and somebody I do not know tries to play the flute, every night, when people go to their windows to clap for our doctors at 9 PM.

Let’s not forget that we all have the duty, for the future of our planet, to choose Life.