There is nothing wrong with wanting the best. Being the best person you can be and living life to the fullest. Being satisfied with who you are and pushing to be all that you can be is a noble goal. 

However, wanting the best out of life has sometimes meant desire for things which aren’t that important.

Before this March’s health disaster, I know a lot of people who complained about their lives. Not that they feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with their families, or they wish they had more time or finances to donate to charities, it is more like

“I need to update my wardrobe.” 

“I wish I had a new job. I need more money.”

“I only got the $45,000 model of vehicle. It doesn’t have the latest back-up camera.”

“My house is three years old. I need a new one.”

“My video game system/Smartphone/tablet/television/computer etc. needs updating.”

Wonder if they are still complaining about these things. The one thing COVID-19 has done have exposed how fragile our lives and our frivolous world truly has been. Since the pandemic, our emphasis have been put on things which are needed for existence. 

Of course this emphasis doesn’t extend to the spring breakers in Florida and Texas captured on American news channels which were bombastically ignoring the COVID-19 warnings. At least there was some outrage from people who realize there’s serious danger.

There are so many aspects of how thin our resources are when it comes to allowing us to live beyond our means. 

Who would have thought after just a few weeks our economy has collapsed economically. More importantly, look how important the focus is on health now. 

“At least I have my health” has never being more pertinent.

Those who scoffed at this pandemic being some sort of publicity stunt or an overreaction… look at the numbers. They are staggering. It attacks anyone, those in the medical profession, Prince Charles, actors, athletes … hundreds in Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Sadly, we haven’t seen the worst yet. We haven’t seen the worst health wise and we don’t know what the full, lasting economic impacts will be yet.

And where does the sweeping pandemic leave North American society with all of its latest technology, the latest in fashions; the high-powered monetary clout of big business, the energy sector, sports and entertainment hold?

Fragile. 

Besides “social distancing”, another pandemic buzzphrase is “essential service”. Grocery stores, pharmacies, fuel stations , hospitals obviously are essential services. 

What are some of the first things that shut down? Sports. Entertainment. Things which we have a heavy emphasis on and prioritize. Even with self isolation in your homes,  television and social media will last only so long. Fresh air and the outdoors will be needed for mental health.

Materialism has caused us a lot of stress. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, eating fancy food and wanting nice “toys” whether you are a kid or a kid at heart. 

But if this pandemic will teach us anything — for those blessed enough to not come out of it minimally unscathed — it will give us time to think and away from the frivolous stuff. 

What is most important in our lives? Family, health and love for yourself. Those are the pillars and should always be reinforced and strengthened. If this pandemic doesn’t at least make you think…

Stress blinds us from things we should be thankful for and a lot of the stress has been caused by materialistic or frivolous things. 

Let’s take a deep breath and if we can and are lucky enough, let’s rise above being fragile. It all starts with the person you look at in the mirror. 

Ryan Dahlman is the managing editor of Prairie Post East and Prairie Post West

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