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Lessons from Quarantine, Part III: Find Your Joy

June 18, 2020

By Jim Palumbo

In this final installment, Principal and Chief Development Officer Jim Palumbo encourages us to find our purpose in the post-pandemic new normal. After all, that’s where we’ll find joy.

Perhaps you have recovered from the virus or have a family member that was affected by it. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one. This is a time to mourn and to have sympathy for those around the world who are suffering. As we grieve and reach out to support people, we begin to find empathy, the ability to understand and share the pain of others. And as we learn empathy, we find our purpose in this life—to love others, to take our eyes off ourselves and seek the best for all of those in our lives, our community and our world.

And when you find your purpose, you find joy—not just happiness, but deep, abiding, long-lasting joy. You will find a peace and contentment with yourself, your life and the world that defies your understanding. Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring us to our purpose.

We are in the midst of a fearful time, but in the weeks and months ahead, because of these trying times, you can find your meaning, purpose and joy.

If you haven’t already done so, find someone to help. Reach out to someone in need. Rather than binge watching streaming movies, click off the TV and start to show kindness now. Look for opportunities to show kindness, even though you may not be able to visit people in person. You can do virtual visitations.

Organizations like Denver Springs, a mental health center, have created a tele-visitation program initiated by a phone call. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has launched a video-visitation program as well. You can find a way.

Think of that senior you know from the nursing home who is in the hospital now, the prisoner or the person in your community that may be suffering from the virus and find a way to reach out by phone, video or social media. Or, go to the website of your place of worship or a nonprofit that holds meaning for you and look for ways to help. It is what we do in times like these that defines who we are.

This is your time to rise and shine. Take this time, set apart from the old day-to-day activities, from the ordinariness of your new routine, or from the mad rush of uncertainty during this crisis, and make it count for something. Draw near to your family. Do something meaningful. Help others. If you redeem this time, you will look back at the year of the pandemic as a catharsis, as a turning point, as a launching pad for the adventure of this new chapter—your post-pandemic future.