Stormy moments in life present themselves in the form of hardships and crises. Sometimes such stormy moments affect an individual or a family or group. It may also affect an entire nation or generation as well as the entire universe. Stormy moments may affect our economic, social, political, physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual lives. Storms create hopelessness and faithlessness moments in human life, therefore, creating difficulties. They have the potential of erasing human aspirations and gains, hence disrupting hopes in life. Storms in life have a starting time, but they have an end. Storms have their purpose: sometimes they come to inform of protection, perfection, or correction. They create a new normal in human life just as COVID-19 or Corona Virus we are all in today. Storms have a devastating impact, but there are lessons to learn from them too. Life must continue during and after the storms.
SOME 10 WAYS ON HOW TO CONVERT STORMY MOMENTS INTO OPPORTUNITIES
Purposeful Agents of transformation should do what it takes and become change-makers during life storms. Here are some ways to consider:
Personal reflection and positive mindset: a personal reflection about the storm as part of life minimizes the amount of fear generated. Storms such as viruses come with no or little warning as we have all witnessed. The ability to reflect on it and accepting it as a fact of life re-energizes human wisdom on how to keep going during the storm and after. Personal reflection should focus on generating own solutions that support moving forward with life.
A positive mindset here means that the storm should not necessarily have to end human existence, but rather strengthen it and transform it. It may require a change in behavior, change of strategies in life, and change of direction. These changes are rooted in a positive mindset and determination to overcome such storms. A Positive mind should be broad: it should be structural and institutional both at the micro and macro levels as well as addressing both the short and long term needs of the people. It means the individuals, the family, and the state should work together to bring in the necessary changes based on a positive mindset.
Practice self-control: refrain from getting information from un-trust worthy sources. Try as much as possible to contain the storm by surrounding yourself with hope and faith. It is also advisable not to over talk about the storm, rather the talk within yourself and with like-minded Purposeful Agents of Transformation should be about sharing relevant information on containing the pressure generated by the storm. Self-control is crucial: it helps in generating useful ideas on how to support community recovery from the storm and on how to contribute to a similar situation in the future.
Create some level of peace within: if the storm affects one or more people or even yourself, despite the hardships, create some peace. Let there be peace in your mind and thoughts. The little peace sets the foundation for more peace to flourish. Peace is like medicine, its presence within enables the creative and innovative spirit to grow. Be ready to do your level best to do the best you can out of the peace you have created. Resilience with purpose is needed here.
Do some research: the sources of such research should be based on what works best at the time of the storm. If the storm is in the domain of unemployment, the research should be about the categories of unemployed people. There is a need to find out what is the cause of unemployment. Sometimes the sources of jobs are available, but people especially the youth are either unwilling to take the available jobs or are unaware that such sources would employ them even more progressively. Many youths prefer white color jobs or government jobs unaware that they can instead contribute to creating jobs in the private sector. If self-employment in agriculture, for example, animal rearing, cultivation, or fish farming generate income which is eventually taxed by the government, the tax widens source of government funds which subsequently may be used to provide needed infrastructures such as schools, roads, hospitals, hence employing more people. During the COVID-19 era, agriculture continued to be the source of livelihood in African countries.
Write a story, or compose some song(s) and use photography as crucial options: there is power in writing, there is power in songs or music, and in photography. Store success stories or any lesson during the storm in books or make them available on social media or in the mainstream media. People will read and learn from such stories. The story shared should help in shaping opinion and attitude for the better. The culture of reading can be developed, therefore, books can be a source of income for the author and the buyers. What matters is, how the buyers would make use of the inspirational story is what may bring in some income. The songs should be formed out of the realities created by the storm and all should focus on providing solutions. Photography is good at creating powerful memories and emotions to learn from. They are also useful in shaping plans and actions for human welfare because people will pick interest in the pictures or videos wherever they may be stored.
Strive to solve a problem: whether it is an individual or community storm, Purposeful Agents of Transformation should strive to identify a particular problem to solve. Storms create psychological problems leading to violence in families, creating social problems leading to addiction, defilement, robbery, theft. The victims need help. Some need counseling, some need food, some need information, some need people to talk to, to laugh with, and some need prayer.
Find what problem you can solve better.
Work in partnership: find people with whom you can share ideas and put the ideas into action. The truth is, the world is shaped through ideas generated by individuals, and these ideas eventually were supported by partners. A Partner can be your friend or family member. Partners may come with a local community or without but for a shared purpose.
Pray and persevere: pray about a solution and this prayer should be a persistent one which is supported by action. Through prayer, one can see some light, direction, seek guidance from the Most High-God. Perseverance means don’t give up, keep hoping, keep praying, keep acting to enable the prayer to bear some fruits.
Seek some help: some help is needed depending on the need to sail through the storm. Request for genuine help is critical in any form. It is important to package the request very well. Why help is needed, how will help solve the storm, how much help is needed, which help and how the help will be put into practice should be well examined. A positive response could be a beacon of hope for thousands of youth in our communities.
Become a leader: it means one should lead a responsible life despite a storm. Follow rules and guidelines. This is true to the present global pandemic. Good leadership should be exercised at every level: committed leadership at the family level, community level, and national level succeed when individual members of the community are responsible for Purposeful Agents of Transformation. Lead a change in people’s behavior in line with the dictates of the storm.
The greater the storm, the greater the chances of finding some rare opportunities. Somewhere I read Martin Luther King Jr. say: “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” It means somewhere in the storm and after the storm, there lie opportunities to be harnessed to result in hope, therefore, facilitating the recovery of communities leading to national development, but Purposeful Agents of Transformation should work harder to discover these opportunities to serve communities increasingly better.