In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind.
The speed reader in me completed this sentence with "with you" instead of "in your mind". So, yes, it came as a relief to realise it's just in my mind and I don't have to lug around any of the nice trinkets or whatnots that go for beautiful in my life right now.
Difficult times, yes and no. Repetitive, boring times more so for us. Slightly cabin feverish. But seriously, nothing to get worked up about. I had a bit of a row with a friend who lamented the trauma that #thecurrentsituation is inflicting on us. Really? I am not traumatised. Not by a long stretch. But the children, she cried out. Missing school, their career prospects, their social contacts, who will employ them in later life and so on.
Here is what I think. My father missed out on five years of school due to WWII. (Without internet access.) Instead, he was sent to dig air fields, harvest grains, bake bread and clean out stables. He stole stuff, he was often cold and food supply was poor. He also raised chickens in a broken shed, grew tobacco to sell on the black market and discovered his love for agriculture. After the war, he had to wait another year before school could start again. (Without internet access.) And without libraries or any teaching materials because all had been confiscated by the US army to check for nazi content - and why not. By the time he graduated from high school, he had to wait another two years before he could go to university because the returning war prisoners and refugees etc. were first in line. He spent these two years travelling from farm to farm, working and learning. He had a brilliant career as an agricultural scientist, a somewhat patchy one as a father and husband. He had his share of trauma but nothing compared to my mother, who also was an excellent scientist but a most disastrous mother.
When I asked him how his experience compares with what kids are living through right now, he was quiet for a while. I think, he said, I think we must always search for the lessons. There is always something to discover. Don't waste your time feeling sorry. And with that he put down the phone.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to belittle anybody's fears and worries. I lie awake at night, too. I worry, I fret, I get angry. I am an expert at that. So here is my offer, try to carry something beautiful in my mind.