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In times of Coronavirus pandemic, we can make a difference.

Practicing kindness to others not only enables us to make a difference but also makes us happier and stimulates others to perform kindness.

COVID 19 hit the world by surprise and is quickly spreading like wildfire across the globe. Up to the time this article was written, it has been infecting more than 3 million people, causing more than 200,000 deaths, and sending billions of people into the stay at home or lockdown to help 'flatten the curve' of infections. And since it is a new virus, we now have only relatively limited information about it and there is no yet vaccine or preventative treatment for it. Having limited knowledge and seeing its devastating effects, it is understandable why people are anxious and frightening. 

What can we do in such a critical moment? Should we just let our governments do everything? No! Precisely while facing a radical crisis and when survival is threatened by an insurmountable problem that we have a great opportunity to do good to make a difference. The more scary the crises, the greater our chance to help others. John F. Kennedy said, "The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity." Though the devastating COVID 19 may provoke a sense of powerlessness in us, we can make a difference. 

We can easily take many examples of this. I believe Nabila’s (11 years old) action by breaking her piggy bank and donating the 560.000 rupiahs for buying Personal Protective Equipment for doctors in Sungai Dareh is very inspirational for us. We are also impressed by Kanaya of Maumere, Azrilia (Bandung), Yasmin (Makassar), Keenan (Sampang) and Mochamad Hafidh (Bandung) who also donated the money they got from their piggy banks to help buy Personal Protective Equipment for those working in the front line of the fight against COVID 19. Although the money they donated was relatively small, they did make a difference! 

Since COVID 19 has caused psychological, social, educational, and economic problems in our society, we probably can do some actions that are in accordant with our ability and capacity. For instance, do you know that this pandemic has mercilessly wiped working hours that are equivalent to 195 million jobs worldwide? hIt's true that the virus has been attacking so indiscriminately that all segments of the population are affected. However, it is predominantly detrimental to members of those social groups in the most vulnerable situations, including older persons, youth, people living in poverty situations, persons with disabilities, and indigenous peoples. Current data shows that the poor and unhoused people are being disproportionately suffered from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. To meet such pressing challenges, we need to help our governments which have been overloaded. Therefore, everyone, including businessmen, scientists, artists, farmers, educators, students, etc. can contribute, and every kindness we do will make a difference. 


Therefore, we are proud and thankful to many caring people and organizations that had initiated to help fight the pandemic in the ways they could. We appreciate how Amazon is hiring 100,000 more workers and giving raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands; how Microsoft decided to keep paying the hourly workers who support their campus; how Apple, having closed all of its stores outside of Greater China and will re-open in several weeks after extensive deep cleaning, has decided to pay all employees for the duration of the closure, and many other organizations that have tried their best so that their employees will not lose their jobs.


We also appreciate that many billionaires like James Dyson, Jack Ma, Bill gates, Anindya Bakrie, Dato Sri Tahir, Garibaldi Thohir rand many others donated to the fight against the pandemic. We are grateful that musicians like Didi Kempot who raised Rp 5.3 billion ($ 335,000) through a charity concert to help people who had lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Keith Urban who creatively held a live concert on Instagram to comfort his fans who were in self-quarantine. Their generosity and acts of kindness give us greater hope during a time of fear and anxiety. They made a difference! 


As shown by the inspiring kindness of the six young children above, we should note that what matters is not the 'size' of our action or the amount of money we donate. If we can do 'huge' actions, that will be good. But if we can act through small actions only, it also matters. So, the question is not how 'huge' our action is, but whether we are compassionate and act or not! Even small and simple acts of kindness can truly make a difference. You probably cannot help thousands or even hundreds of people today. But if you help even only a person. it surely made a difference for him/her. So let everyone make a difference based on his talent, skills, and capacity.


Take a look at the 84-year-old lady who hangs several bundles of instant noodle packs on her house gate to help her neighbors. Whoever needed noodles could take them for free. Everyone said that simple action is really touching! It even inspired the old lady's neighbors and to bring some of their instant noodle supply and hang in the old lady's house gate. Some others even left a note saying that they would soon hang rice, too.


Besides helping others, our actions to make a difference (which is surely an act of kindness) also provide two other advantages. First, practicing kindness to others add our happiness. Recent studies indicate that giving to others makes us happy, even happier than spending on ourselves. The more actions we do to help others the happier we are. Second, every act of kindness is contagious. Research has shown that seeing an act of kindness is performed naturally warms our hearts and elevates our morals. That's why when you receive someone's kindness, a positive experience is formed in yourself and it stimulates you to practice kindness to others. This is what drove the lady's neighbors to bring some of their instant noodle supply to hang in the gate. The old lady's kindness was transmitted to them.


So, what act of kindness will you do to make a difference amidst this pandemic? Once again it depends on your talent, skills, and capacity. Be pro-active to find one or more acts of kindness you can do. The first thing to do is, of course, to protect yourself and others living in your house from coronavirus while handling your work (if you are working from home) or study (if you are a student) in the best way. So, stay at home as much as possible. Wear a mask. Wash your hand in every 30 regularly. Avoid close contact with people, even if they don't appear sick. By doing these, we have made a difference in the effort to flatten the curve.


After ensuring that your social distancing and works/studies are okay, you can offer assistance to at-risk neighbors, particularly the elderly who live alone. Check them regularly. Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable to this pandemic because living alone in self-quarantine can make them lonely or even depressed. Next, if you can teach, you can contact your priest or church elders to see the possibility to help teach the young children in your church online. You can also make a difference by combating misinformation or fake-news online and sharing positive news and acts of kindness with your community. Fake news is very dangerous. If you see such a post, report it to your platform and let anyone posting or sharing it know. You can also express your gratitude to doctors, nurses, pharmacies, delivery workers, supermarket waiters, and others on the front lines. Send them "thank you" and let them know we really appreciate what they're doing.


The actions or recommendations described above may not resonate with you most. Therefore, we’d like to hear from you. What specifically do you think you can do to make a difference amidst this coronavirus pandemic? Sound off in the comments section below.



Author: Parlindungan Pardede (parlin@weedutap.com)












Comments

  1. I like this article, however we make the difference to help people around us to feel better. The story from the old lady quite same with me. When the old women hangs the bundles of instant noodle packs on her house gate to help her neighbors.I just help the house boarding children to cover up with their daily food. Even though I just give the information about there are some organizations want to contribute the foodstuffs for them. I just look for them in my social media through my smartphone and register their name and give their name to that organization .
    I think my actions are not comparable to the old lady above but , that is my ability to help who needed the helping hand in this situation.
    Hopefully ,difference can bring us into being people who care about people around us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, that's right that whatever we can do to help others during this pandemic wheter it's a big or small act, it'll make difference.
    After read this article, I wonder what things can I do to help others in my neighborhood or other people that are far away from me even by I'm staying at home. Maybe I can do something like: Help donate even just a little to some relief organization like KitaBisa so they can help other in need during this pandemic, sharing important information or latest news about coronavirus in my social media so other keep up to date and know what's new about the coronavirus, keep praying so God keep bless all people especially all the doctors, nurses, everyone in the front line so they keep safe and able to give their best to treat the patients and able to get the vaccine anytime soon, and maybe start doing things like the elder in this article has done namely by keeping instant noodles or anything to help others in my neighborhood who are in need.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's true, the difference is not about how small or big our help is, but how influential the difference is to help people out there. I began to think what can I do to make a differences or maybe what I did amidst this coronavirus pandemic? I think giving a thank you is one of them. Just like the article above, giving thanks to people who fought hard against COVID-19, might not be a big action, but I feel, thanks can build their spirits, it is also a simple form of appreciation that we can give.
    The simplest thing we can do that can even make a big difference is prayer. Despite the strong determination of Nehemiah (the Bible character) to build the wall of Jerusalem that collapsed, he was a faithful prayer. His prayer moves him in the way given by God.
    Don't forget, your prayer movement can have a big impact on this nation and country!

    ReplyDelete
  4. All that Kindness movement. Actually respresentative of Indonesian Citizen Heart. As long as for humanity society still have those kind of kindness. Small act can save our nation. I still remember what been told to us while in a trip in Korea. When Korean just about have their Independence. They were so Poor. So... All women over the Nation.. gave their Long Hair to cut to make as Wig to sell by Nation. To save their country. From that act we can learn. If us as a citizen do a small act to save our people and nation it will make us Great. I have suggest my Fam. My Aunt. My elementary friends my Village. To look after each other. To a neighbour who in need. even only a plate of rice or a pinch of salt. Maybe... By that small act. We can safe other life even for a day only. Let us do kindness and let God do the Justice. Do not Blaim goverment if you not get Sembako or BLT even you had been fired from your work. Believe in God and kindness. It will come to you if its meant to you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, alright. We can make the difference amidst coronavirus pandemic through three of simple actions for to help people around us , like volunteer your time, check in on elderly neighbours, and don't share bad new or hoax related coronavirus pandemic. For example; every morning I alwasy check ony elderly neighbours and make sure all of the are good. Give them breakfast, lunch and accompany them until their family returned from their job.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great....

    Unusual thought, the spirit of work, Mr. Parlin Pardede. Analysis and how to write it exceeds journalists

    ReplyDelete

  7. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I strongly agree with this article. In the current situation helping others is very important, although the money they donated was relatively small but has a big impact for sharing. Same thing with them, my sister bought enough cloth masks to share with neighbors and others who did not yet have cloth masks, and sometimes my family make food such as cakes or snacks to share with our neighbors. By sharing it means we about other people.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Agreed!!! this article was very interesting. Help someone is very meaningful for many people. Not only in when this COVID-19 condition but in anywhere and anything. Although we can't donated more, we can help others with a simple little thing. While this pandemic, we can help others with just stay at home, or share whatever we have to someone who need help.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so appreciate with the people who gave their piggy bank for our heroes such as a doctor, nurses and etc, because it's not talking about how much that they gave to them, but about they really care about our country and then they try to help donate for the equipment that our doctor needed, and also donate is not the only thing to make COVID-19 disappear, we do should participate with the police and medical personnel to stay at home, work from home to reduce the plague of COVID-19.

    ReplyDelete

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