What is the most important opportunity that the current crisis presents?
The first online, 'Thinking Forum' discussion this term asked St Benedict's students for their comments and views on the current situation, as we continue to live our lives indoors, in isolation from each other and school life. Here are some of their responses.
"It’s quite difficult to think about opportunities in a time when on a personal, national and global scale we are facing, most importantly, problems of health, as well as the secondary social and economic implications.
I’m sure any of us would trade the few silver-linings of the crisis to escape it.
And it seems to me that this longing to escape the crisis – to go back to how things were before it – makes us more grateful for what we have lost. The human interaction that was so mundane before now reveals itself to have been an essential part of our lives. The relationships we have with people, despite the technological connectedness, now seem on hold.
And so this crisis, which without any warning has driven people apart, has reminded us of an assured and irrefutable reason for our human lives, and that is other people." Ned
"I think that the most important opportunity is that we get to rethink the way we live our lives. We have become dependent on being able to access everything we want, whenever we want it. During isolation, we are having to be more patient, waiting for things to arrive and managing on the food we have at home. Instead of being demanding, we are learning to be grateful for what we have." Thomas
"I think that the most important opportunity that this current crisis presents Is being able to reflect and think things differently with a new mindset. It provides us with an opportunity to rethink our daily habits and routines and change them to the way we like so that we can enjoy our lives during this pandemic." Riya
"This could be an excellent opportunity to reflect on our lives, to stop and dedicate time to ourselves and to our dear ones. In this isolation, people are reconsidering the human relationship, and we are all becoming more sensitive, perhaps with more empathy and more willingness to listen, to understand. In this desperate time we learn to appreciate our family, our friends and all the things we take for granted in our everyday life." Philippe
"I feel that a lot more people are appreciating being outside, because like me, many people didn't see going outside as a thing to revolve your day around and something that was precious." Felix
"The most important opportunity this current crisis presents is that we get to live in a world with less pollution. Due to the restrictions in travel, fewer people are travelling in cars and aeroplanes so the world has less air pollution. It has been great not to hear aeroplanes over our heads everyday." Alfie
“New opportunities include spending more time with family, talking to people more on Facetime or calling them, rather than texting, and possibly reaching out to contact people that you haven't talked to in a long time.” Felix
"I believe that the most important opportunity that this crisis presents to us is to be more understanding of the world around us. For instance, when I have been to the park, multiple people are saying 'good morning' to each other, something that did not happen much before. Many people are exercising and trying their best to keep their fitness levels up." Max
"The current pandemic crisis provides the opportunity for the strengthening of humanitarian bonds. The common desire to survive in the current (approximately once per century) viral pandemic, will hopefully transcend all national, financial and personal desires for power and allow for the world’s research organisations to work together in order to aid humanity. Global leaders, in line with the Pope’s Easter address (Urbi et Orbi) will hopefully be able to set aside their differences and enact ceasefires as they realise that their survival is far more important than power, material possessions and false ideas about who performs important jobs. Hopefully, this current crisis will enable us all to learn to respect our fellow humans, whatever their intelligence or vocation, and value everyone within our community. I am hopeful that the current time for isolation and reflection will give us the wisdom to value the cultural and family-inspired beliefs of others. May the current unprecedented crisis bring a new period of peace and understanding throughout the world." James
"As factories close, people work from home and travel less as a result of the outbreak, there have been noticeable improvements to air quality and reductions in the levels of pollutants in the atmosphere." Oscar
"The quietness of isolation provides the perfect opportunity to focus on ourselves and reflect without the interruptions of the outside world and our daily lives. This is a good chance to take control of our lives, to be curious through learning independently (There are several free online resources available to us related to almost every topic imaginable), and to manage our own free time well." Murdo
"In China, emissions were cut back by a very significant 25% due to the imposed lock down, and this lowering of emissions is similar worldwide. Although when the Covid-19 crisis is overcome the emissions will go back to normal, it is good to show that humans can successfully cut back on emissions; however, we will need to essentially stop emissions in the next 15 years or so if we want to give humanity a chance of survival through the next few centuries." Helena
"I think the most important opportunity this crisis presents is quality family time. This is because normally we all are consumed by our busy lives and maybe we haven't appreciated being together as a family." Luca
"With fewer people travelling and creating noise, we are starting to recognise the wildlife and how important it is. After this we can start to incorporate respect for our wildlife into our daily lives." Louis