Today is expected to be manic Monday. As hundreds of thousands of employees in Metro Manila go back to work, they must contend with a severe lack of public transportation. They should expect longer trips to and from their workplaces compared to pre-pandemic days because the only rides available would be the MRT-3 and buses operating on reduced capacities. Unless more public transportation is made available, we can also expect terrifying Tuesdays, wicked Wednesdays, tiresome Thursdays, and frantic Fridays.
Today is expected to be manic Monday. As hundreds of thousands of employees in Metro Manila go back to work, they must contend with a severe lack of public transportation. They should expect longer trips to and from their workplaces compared to pre-pandemic days because the only rides available would be the MRT-3 and buses operating on reduced capacities. Unless more public transportation is made available, we can also anticipate terrifying Tuesdays, wicked Wednesdays, tiresome Thursdays, and frantic Fridays.
We are going to face challenges in many other areas of life aside from public transportation. You could whine and grumble, but that will not improve the situation. We have a new way of life now. Just accept and face it as a matter of F.A.C.T.–that is, with four indispensable attitudes:*
Flexibility is the ability to change as circumstances change. How are you adjusting to the new realities that have emerged? For example, have you made the adjustments so that you could adopt the new work schedule your company has imposed? Have you rearranged or purchased furniture to increase efficiency of your WFH (work from home) arrangement? If you are a leader in your organization, have you encouraged a culture of pivoting? We are facing a future of so many unknowns. When we find that our old ways no longer work, we need to pivot. Flexibility helps you do whatever is necessary to achieve your goals.
The pandemic has been altering our lives in unimaginable and unforeseen ways. Yes, we all were rattled by the suddenness of it all; but we cannot stay rattled. Let’s get organized and adapt to the times. Adopt new practices. Would you be willing to homeschool your kids? Are you embracing online, digital platforms for your business processes? Are you agreeable to assuming new roles in your organization that may be out of your comfort zone? The changes you need to make may be staggering but be open-minded. Start with a “I’m beginning to think so” attitude.
Now is the time to transcend traditional and conventional ideas and ways of doing things. Take religious gatherings, for example. The New Testament word for “church” is ekklesía which refers to an assembly of people gathered for worship, teaching and fellowship. Now that public gatherings are still very much restricted, how will you “do church” and still remain true to the essential nature of ekklesía? Or how about if you can no longer depend on your usual source of income? What possible new income streams are you considering? The Tagalog word for creativity is “maparaan” and the slogan of Banco de Oro exemplifies just that: “We find ways.”
When the community quarantine in Metro Manila started on March 15th, I decided to start leading Bible studies online. I had been leading Bible studies for many years now but it was always in the context of a physical gathering. I had no experience of teaching online. I solicited the help of several people to teach me about using Zoom, livestreaming, fonts to use on my presentation, lighting, shirt color, etc. I still am learning because I have the most important Story to tell and I want to tell it well.
Together with these four attitudes, there is one more fact that we need to claim as we experience some possibly upsetting days ahead: the presence of the living and loving God. He said:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
*I heard about this F.A.C.T. acronym from Alpha Allanigui at a SeeWorthy webinar.