It’s the year 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe. Across the planet, we isolate ourselves in our homes and practice social distancing. We are glued to the news where examples of the crisis bringing out the best and the worst in us abound. But I find inspiration in the many selfless examples of people acting in the best interest of others. I begin to wonder why some are selfless. My search uncovers that selflessness is a choice based on our inner voice or thought process. A gem I discovered in a social media post is this quote by Lisa M. Hayes: “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Our inner dialogue shapes our thoughts and is key in determining whether we do the right thing for the right reason and practice selflessness. Infectious disease scientists suggest that we view our shelter-in-place and social distancing behavior NOT as avoiding infection to ourselves but rather that we assume we are infected and want to prevent spreading the infection to others. (This is especially important as the virus can spread by a carrier who exhibits no symptoms.) Selflessness comes with personal benefit; when we sacrifice or act for the benefit of others, we heighten our sense of happiness, which has positive effects on our health and well-being. This is according to the Self-centeredness/Selflessness Model developed by Michael Dambrun of Clermont Universite and Matthieu Ricard Mind and Life Institute.
Both perspectives played out for all the world to see as politicians and citizens spoke out on social media and in the news. Examples of selflessness came in the form of individuals and companies giving back, and an outpouring of appreciation and concern for those putting their lives in harm’s way so that we can receive medical treatment and the goods needed to live, i.e., food, medicine and other essentials. This outpouring brings us together as a global community bound by this shared experience. This crisis reminds us that we share a small planet and that we are all in this together. As the saying goes, hope springs eternal. We are hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon end, and we can celebrate a return to normal. In the spirit of making the best of the situation, now is an excellent time to complete your ABO and NCLE license renewal requirements from the comfort and safety of your home. Visit 2020mag.com/ce for over 90 CE courses.
• Deborah Kotob
Pro to Pro Director