It is hard to know how to deal with a crisis. Especially a pandemic that has affected everyone.
The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has been overwhelming and I did not know how to deal with it. I felt anxious and uncertain, but I also felt powerless. I did not know what I could do to help those around me. Everytime I checked the news, I was reminded about how serious the situation was, and this only made me feel more fearful.
This was how I was feeling until Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman, announced he was going to do a live stream from his home with just his piano on March 17th.
He started his impromptu gig by saying,
‘Hi, my name is Chris, is this on? Yes, it is. So, err, I am on my own, sort of…’
‘I was supposed to be with the band Coldplay today, but we’re stuck in different countries, so we can’t play together. So, I thought what would be nice would be to check in with some of you out there and see how you’re doing and where you are and what I could do for you.’
‘I had an idea that we could call this thing Together at Home.’
‘And who knows’, he added. ‘Maybe tomorrow someone else will take it over.’
For the next 30 minutes he sat in front of his piano and sang. His performance made me smile and no doubt did the same to the 50,000 other people who also listened.
Chris Martin did something to help in his own way, and he inspired me to do the same.
It made me realise that whatever is going on around us, we all have the power to support each other.
In my own way, I reached out to old friends. I volunteered on a government initiative to support those most affected by COVID-19. I also put on a small meditation class online and I was joined by friends and family from all over the UK. These things made me remember that even when we are not seeing each other, when we are practicing ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’, that there is still a connection between us all. Doing these things reminded me of my community, and I felt better for it.
I was not the only one inspired. Listening to Chris’ message, other musicians joined in and streamed concerts form their own homes. The next day John Legend continued ‘Together at Home’. Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes and Jennifer Hudson to name a few, all did the same, and there will now be a ‘One World: Together at Home’ concert on April 18th where artists around the world from Paul McCartney to Lady Gaga will take part.
After Chris’ performance finished, I saw the news in a different way. I was struck not by the crisis we were experiencing, but how people around the world were spreading acts of kindness to help in their own way. In the UK, nearly 20,000 healthcare workers have come out of retirement to look after those who are sick. In Italy, people are singing on their balconies with those around them. Communities around the world are banding together to help those in their own way.
The global community finds itself in the midst of a crisis but, as the Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom reflected, whilst this crisis ‘is taking so much from us, it is also giving us something special – the opportunity to come together as one humanity’.
It is hard to know how to deal with a crisis. But we can all share an act of kindness in our own way. And who knows, maybe tomorrow someone else will take over your act of kindness in their own way too.
Sahoja is spreading kindness in its own way. Join in and let’s spread kindness in our own way, together.