“Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage” – Napoleon Hill
This quote is hard to see the truth of in the middle of a difficult time. But anyone who has lived long enough knows that when you face a difficulty in life, it can make you better if you let it. Now I’m not going to get into a philosophical conversation about whether things “happen for a reason” or not, but I think it is safe to say that most human growth is the result of facing and overcoming difficulty.
Coronavirus has come from seemingly nowhere and turned the entire world upside down. The social, political, and economic impact is huge. If what Napoleon Hill is saying is true, then this huge difficulty carries with it huge potential benefits. The key word here is potential. It is totally possible to go through a difficulty and become bitter and resentful, but luckily we have some influence over that. Here are some ways that Coronavirus may end up as a benefit, if we respond properly:
Appreciation of Family
Knowing how this virus has a tendency to prey on the vulnerable, we immediately think of our families and what we can do to protect them. A tragedy or difficulty always brings us back to the most important people: our families. I imagine relationships are getting stronger as a result of the difficulties imposed by this virus. Perhaps we are talking and connecting with our loved ones in ways that we haven’t in a while. Or at least I hope we are.
Return to Frugality
The economic impact of this virus may be the biggest impact. Markets have dropped, and many millions of Americans are entering into a period of weeks to months away from work. As a result, people are forced to make hard decisions about where their money is best spent. In times of relative abundance, we can get away with loose spending, but times like these require us to be very intentional about our financial priorities.
Embrace of a Slower Pace
As a result of Coronavirus, we are all being forced to stop. Not because we want to, but because we have to. We are going for walks, spending time with loved ones, reading, and generally going at a much slower pace. My prediction is that we will see the benefits of this and try and think of ways we can incorporate more down time into our schedules.
Return to Community Values
Similar to a return to family, we are also seeing a return to community values. Now, more than ever, people are thinking of ways that we can support each other. We are no longer just looking out for ourselves, because we sense that this problem is affecting us all. Ideas that seemed radical, like a Universal Basic income, are now becoming more mainstream because we see how interconnected we are, and getting through this will require the embrace of previously deemed radical ideas.
Coronavirus is not a good thing. It’s terrible. But if we are wise, we will find ways to take this difficulty and invest our learning in a better future.