Finding the Silver Lining in COVID-19
It is often the challenging times that we remember the best — and learn from the most. They are also our proudest moments, if we rose to the occasion, and our most shameful moments, if we failed the test before us.
For our kids, who now have lots of time with mom and dad, they may remember this time as the most memorable of their lives, the most fun. The time they were able to be with their family.
As parents, we may learn that the most valuable gift we can give our kids is not a new iPad or a cell phone, but rather an hour of undivided attention, an hour of fun adventure taking a walk or having a picnic, an hour of listening to what is truly important — what is on their mind and in their heart at this moment.
Children also rise to the occasion. During the Holocaust, it was the children who crawled through the sewers and the small cracks in the walls to escape the ghettos, and bring food back to their families. During the pogroms, it was the 13-year-old kids who made their way to America and worked in sweat shops to earn money to bring their families to America. During war time, it has been the 18-year olds who saved the world from tyranny. King David was a boy when he defeated Goliath.
Looking back, we may find that our kids are more resilient than we would have ever thought.
As we “teach our children diligently,” as the Torah commands, and they rise to the occasion as they often do, we may ask ourselves: Are we giving them the message that they need — or are we entrusting that to a school system to feed them, educate them, and teach them their values?
Are we teaching our children by example that in their over-scheduled lives, they are being robbed of their time to enjoy the present moment? We have to ask ourselves: Why is depression and loneliness so prevalent in this time when there is so much to do? Perhaps with our manufactured recreations temporarily suspended, we will find that going for a walk or having a conversation is not overrated after all.
During this time of COVID-19, we are losing jobs, investments, and lives. For those of us who do not work in health care, public safety, or trucking, we are gaining time — time to be with our loved ones. And we may learn that time is the most precious thing of all.
Tara Mizrachi is a former US Army wife and the author of Software for the Soul: Psalms for Everyone — discovering the inner meanings. She hosts www.psalmsonline.org.