What Quarantine Can Teach Us


Nobody wants the solitude we face, but if you have it there’s something there’s something precious about it. Something about the quiet, the lack of activity, the lack of options, causes you to focus in a way that we hardly ever do. You become aware. When you block out all other thoughts, where do your thoughts go? What do you notice? There’s something about the quiet or the isolation that brings things into focus and makes things clear. Being quarantined gives you so much quiet time you become aware of parts of yourself that you are completely unaware of and never noticed before. Some of it is good, some of it not so good. But it’s good to know – it’s good to know what’s not good too. It’s good to have an honest and frank assessment of oneself. It makes you feel like you’re standing on two feet.


Solitude makes us realize that “normal” doesn’t seem so attractive anymore. What we used to do, what we filled our days with, it’s just not appealing or impressive anymore. We’re now aware of something deeper and better and higher and we don’t want to go back to the old stuff.

Being able to imagine a possibility takes us a giant step toward making that possibility a reality. We have to start with a fiction, a sense of imagination, and then work our way towards the reality. Not being able to imagine a better version of reality blocks your good intentions from making that reality possible. It’s our imagination that can either block us or help us apply the emotion to reality. This quiet time is a time for imagination. To imagine being what I want to be, to imagine the people I’m I’m living with, to imagine them in in the way that I should be seeing them. the fact that I don’t see them that way means I need my imagination to introduce me to that new possibility.


When we cut down on our needs, we become more productive. Limited choices are much healthier than endless choices. This idea is demonstrated in the Ten Commandments. Why do we have Ten Commandments if there are 613 mitzvot? A human being is intelligent, imaginative, inventive, and creative, so when you come into life what do you do first? Where do you start?  God give you some definitions, some borders, so that there is there is something to focus on. “So first of all, I’m God. No other gods.” the First Commandment says. Then “honor your parents” – focus on who’s close to you, the Second Commandment says.  And then, don’t even think about killing, don’t even think about stealing, don’t even think about committing adultery. There are NOT endless possibilities. With the Ten Commandments, God gives us some basis for sanity, and the rest of the mitzvot build off of that clarity. The more specific we can get the more focused we are, the healthier we are and the more successful we’ll be so eliminating possibilities is a very healthy thing to do. The Ten Commandments don’t take away your freedom, they liberate you to function in a healthy, successful way. The limitations we are currently facing are actually a source of clarification, just like the Ten Commandments. We’ll come out of this solitude, this quarantine, healthier, wiser, more mature, and more focused.

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