Solutions/ episode #2

THE COURAGE OF ANSWERING

April 23, 2020

Just like when we were 12, today we are compelled to be courageous. We have no choice. There’s only one direction: toward an unknown future. We can neither run away to the past, nor hold on to the present. You don’t believe you’ll stay home like this from now on, do you?

Quarantine will end. You’ll go out and you will find you are not the same person you were in March.

Will you still like what you used to like five weeks ago? Will you be content with the way you used to live? A quarantine is quite a lot of time. Psychologists maintain that in 27 days we can develop long lasting habits, and in 27 days we can lose habits forever. Do you remember when the toys you loved at 11 suddenly seemed boring, or even ridiculous? Maybe (it’s very likely) something of this kind will happen to you after the quarantine, and this time it won’t concern toys.

I think that the best way to prepare ourselves for such a change is by asking ourselves the simplest and the most courageous of all questions: WHAT DO I LIKE? And wait. We have no reason to hurry. Last time I asked myself that question, long before the quarantine, it took me two weeks before I could give a precise answer. I used to answer as if the question was: "What did I like before?", or "What do I remember I have liked?" or even "What should I like?" or "What could I say I like, in order to be original?" The answers that came ultimately sounded dull.

And each time I tried to answer just that question, WHAT DO I LIKE NOW?, all I used to feel inside me was silence.

Then the right answer came to me in a flash, and it was: "A glass of icy sparkling water", because in that moment I was thirsty. It was true: that was what I felt a liking for in that moment. After dozens of false answers, it was a revelation. So simple! From that day I started to find simple answers, bigger and bigger ones, and to take unprecedented decisions in my life for a while – until I decided I was satisfied with my results. Satisfaction made me forget the courage and the importance of that question for some years. And then came the quarantine.

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