Home means different things to each of us. For most, it is a place of comfort and safety.
Such is the pull of home that two weeks ago, 18 men—with just a week’s pay in their pockets and an uncertain future—started walking towards home because mass transportation was suspended. They lost their jobs when the construction project they were working in ceased operations because of the lockdown. After more than eight hours, they were still in Metro Manila, having walked 30 kilometers.
Home was in Tarlac, more than 150 kilometers away.
Their story was picked up by a journalist and shared countless times in social media. It reached the mayor of Tarlac City and the governor of Tarlac province. Both requested for assistance from the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations. The cavalry came with food, financial help and a vehicle to bring them home.
In two hours, they were back home with their families.
Having a home is not a given for everyone. So if you do have one, give thanks.
Luzon’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which was supposed to end on April 12, has been extended to April 30.
If you are feeling frustrated or down, one of the ways to find your balance is to be grateful.
A video that I watch from time to time since 2011 is this talk given by cinematorgrapher Louis Schwartzberg on his timelapse photography. But apart from the photography, what draws me to it is Benedictine monk Brother David’s words about gratefulness. Please watch.
I watch this while homebound during this time of quarantine. Brother David’s quiet, gentle voice and its soothing cadence invites your heartbeat to slow down and your mind to open.
He has written numerous books, and his vision is to spread gratefulness in the world.
There is a wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware how important this is. If we’re grateful, we’re not fearful, and if we’re not fearful, we’re not violent. Then, we act out of a sense of enough instead of scarcity, and we start to share. We start to enjoy the differences between people, and are respectful to everybody. That can change our society’s entire power pyramid.
Why Gratitude is Important
Professor and American psychologist Robert A. Emmons said that gratitude is “good for our bodies, our minds, and our relationships.”
He has given everyday tips for living a life of gratitude. Click this link.
One of the tips he mentions is to keep a gratitude journal. This is really a powerful ritual that you can do before you go to bed.
According to Prof. Emmons, with just three weeks of doing this, you will reap a lot of physical, psychological and social benefits.
Here’s a list I wrote a couple of weeks ago ( a real lockdown kind of list):
- a safe and comfortable home
- running water
- internet connection (even if it’s running at 30%)
- time—to connect with family and friends, to watch films and concerts, to cook a healthy meal, to read a book, to learn something new, to have a nap…
I am still very grateful for all those things. But there’s more than just the basic infrastructure. Now I think of many other things, more detailed, more experiential, even realizations, that I am thankful for.
Give Thanks for Your Home
Any time that you feel bored, frustrated, or sad, think about the blessings you receive throughout the day. In these times when many of us are told to stay home, be thankful for the home that shelters you. Give it some love by keeping it clean and tidy.
Are you alone? Give thanks. With friends? Give thanks. With family? Give thanks. Just sprinkle love all around like fairy dust. I hope you can make this time really special for yourself and your loved ones.
If you are in a good place and you have extra, please share and donate to people who are in need or organizations whose causes resonate with you. As Brother David said, “Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.”
For more Homebound articles, click here.