“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein
Covid-19 has turned things around in such a big way, no one alive has seen anything quite like it. It has reshaped our world. The global crisis has come with its own challenges including social-economic impacts. We are now distant from one another and/or far from our workplaces. Economies, macro and micro, around the world have been battered.
I have listened to and watched different experts give talks online. At the onset of this pandemic, I wanted to participate in almost all webinars; I needed to be aware of the latest news and learnings to know how to deal with this disease. But as time went by, I grew weary.
I have wondered who the experts are in handling such pandemics. There are many self-acclaimed specialists out there. Everyone, I believe, is trying to offer their piece in the areas they are strong in. In due time, we shall all be doyens on pandemic management once this contagion is over. In the meantime, let us truly cut ourselves some slack and take life in.
Money makes the world go round, they say. However, it’s been doing rounds and running out of many pockets during this season. The lockdowns have affected ways of earning a living, especially in developing countries. People have lost their livelihoods and governments are unable to offer the necessary support to their citizens. As a result, people have opted to go back and fend for themselves, despite the dangers that await from Covid-19.
Expenses in homes have gone up, especially where children are involved. Nevertheless, some living expenditures have come down e.g. transportation, luxury purchases, etc. Some of the business owners have had to contend with the fact that their businesses will be hard hit and might not recover soon. Sadly, for others, doors have had to be shut.
Where lies the opportunities?
This season gives us a chance, a break, to consider how we use our finances. Have we been using our financial resources wisely or not?
I recently had a conversation with my sister on this topic. It was a deep matter leading to us having quite an extended period of discussion on finances. I had a chance to reflect on my past way of living and had to admit that some of my financial ways were unacceptable going forward.
There were moments where we felt some form of regret for having wasted golden opportunities that came our way. However, we agreed that water down the bridge is water gone. It was important for us to focus on the future and assess whether we were well prepared for this crisis or any other crisis, and what we could do to move forward.
- Planning for the future is key. Consider how to save and invest more. ‘Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.’ Proverbs 6.6-8
- Spend time knowing the state of your finances. “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks and attend to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23
- Give to those in need. For those of us who have a little to spare, consider supporting needy families around us. Give generously whenever you can. ‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.’ Proverbs 3:27
- Advancing our talents. All of us are gifted in many ways. I have been pleasantly surprised to see people’s talents blossom during this social distancing phase as they try to earn income from their passions.
- Succession planning. Always a toughie, what happens when I die? From an African perspective, many fear discussing this as it is considered inviting death upon oneself. Write your will and set matters out clearly, what assets you have and how would you wish for them to be distributed.
- Remember that God knows what you need and shall provide. ‘And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4.19. Take heart that God shall meet your needs in this difficult season.
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” Zig Ziglar
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