The first half of year 2020 certainly stands out as an epoch marked by “crisis fatigue”. Starting in early January, the onslaught of crises began with the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a major general of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Consequently, this escalated tension between the United States and Iran, which almost precipitated a third world war. Soon after, a volcanic eruption in Taal inflicted damages on life and property in Batangas and the adjoining provinces. As tremors started to subside, subsequently thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread its virulent attacks across the globe, causing governments to impose strict preventive measures via lockdowns to slow down the rate of contagion amongst nations.
As governments enforced lockdowns, the world literally stood still for as long as 8 – 12 weeks. Unfortunately, the series of enforced home isolations brought to bear unintended consequences: massive layoffs and domestic violence. As of late, the unemployment claims in the US soared to more than 38 million. In the meantime, uncertainties about the pandemic as well as the fate of the economy continue to inflict stress and anxiety amongst the people. “Crisis fatigue” has certainly exacted its heavy toll on the state of well-being of the middle class sector of society.
Meanwhile, as governments prepare for re-entry into the new world order, countless workers remain in the dark insofar as their livelihoods are concerned. The question, therefore, that takes first priority is:
How does one recover from crisis fatigue?
St. Josemaria Escriva proposes his unsolicited advise to those affected by “crisis fatigue”, as follows:
Point no. 11
Will-power. Energy. Example. What has to be done is done. . . without wavering. . . without worrying about what others think. . .
Otherwise, Cisneros * would not have been Cisneros; nor Teresa of Ahumada, St. Teresa; nor Iñigo of Loyola, St. Ignatius.
God and daring! « Regnare Christum volumus! » – « We want Christ to reign! »St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way
* Cisneros (1436-1517): Spanish Cardinal, Regent of the Throne of Spain and Confessor of Queen Isabela the Catholic. Cardinal Cisneros started the reform of the Church in Spain, anticipating what years later the Council of Trent would start for all Christendom. His courage and strength of character were widely known.
To succeed in navigating the future, there are several pre-conditions that need be established:
1. Establish your goal.
Before one can establish personal goals, it is vital to step back into quiet solitude in order to examine oneself and to find out what are the basic longings of the heart. The question, therefore, to be asked is: what will make me happy? Whether it be mundane targets or spiritual ideals, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that one should establish a goal given a certain timeline. Hopefully, this should provide the impetus to be forward-looking rather than being paralyzed by the crises.
2. Align your strategy.
This phase requires a self-assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses, taking into consideration threats as well as opportunities. It would require harnessing and honing one’s strengths i.e. knowledge, character and skills, whilst making one’s weaknesses irrelevant. Subsequently, one is then able to draw up a battle plan that would be geared towards achievement of the goal. In effect, once the strategies are put in place, the same should be cast in stone with the conviction to go for it.
3. Go for it.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Point no. 11 will definitely be crucial in paving the way forward. Come hell or high water, one should mobilize all of one’s strengths in pursuing the goal. This will require the strength of character or true grit to face up with headwinds that may pose as obstacles along the way. Will power and energy will be indispensable in order to reach the goal. To the wavering heart, it is good to remember the gospel verse – “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and lookin back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
4. Pray, pray, pray.
Finally, it would be foolhardy to rely solely on one’s human strength. On the contrary, it would be good to keep in mind that God is always on hand, waiting to be called as collaborator in the pursuit of the goal. Afterall, the words of St. Paul should serve as a good reminder to always keep one’s faith:
“But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering; do the work of preaching the gospel; fulfill the service asked of you. . . . I have fought a good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day.St. Paul, 2 Timothy 4: 7-8