I do not believe in New Years’ resolutions as generally they involve weight loss or exercise or something that is quickly forgotten and not adhered to at all. Instead, I make a pact with myself on certain things that are important to me, when they crop up at any time during the year. The one thing this pandemic has taught me, if nothing else, is a bit of self reflection on what is and isn’t really important.

Perhaps I am mellowing with age, or perhaps the world is changing and taking me along with it, but to me, thinking of how I want to live my life, the word TOLERANCE comes to mind. To be tolerant of the things we cannot change, to be tolerant of people who may irritate us and tolerant of those who are ignorant or naïve. To be tolerant of ones family, work colleagues, and tolerant of other drivers on the road.

And I have to say, that since I have taken on this stance of tolerance, I am sleeping better than ever, and therefore happier. To take something intolerable, make it tolerable and add a dash of humour, can change your life.

To understand that we can’t change governments decisions, we can’t change the global pandemic, and we can’t change someones’ opinion of us overnight, just means we need to be tolerant. It does not mean we agree with the status quo, it simply means that in order to be happy, we have to let go of what we can’t change, and focus instead on being tolerant, and then change what is within our power to do so.

Change will happen eventually. The only inevitable in life is change but whilst we wait for that change, we must exercise tolerance.

And with tolerance comes kindness. And kindness is not a weakness, it is human. And with kindness and tolerance comes a certain positivity. Positivity that things will work out in the end, even though we cannot see what life holds for us right now.

If you think back to the days of the Spanish flu. There was no instant communication in those days and limited travel, and yet the disease spread throughout the world and killed millions. They say a pandemic hits the globe every hundred years and that this Covid -19 is our hundred year pandemic. The Spanish Flu is no longer a threat to the human race and I feel that this too will pass. It may take on all sorts of mutations as it goes around the world, and it may take several years to stamp out completely, but the main threat will end eventually and we will live with a new normal.

Sometimes I feel that threats to us as humans come when we are perhaps not thinking properly of what we are doing and what things are important. If nothing else, the pandemic has taught me at least to stop and think about my life and what is important to me. Family are on top of the list and I speak more to my mother, brothers and sister than ever before and I keep communication with my sons daily. And I realise my staff have their own private issues, so I try to be tolerant with them when they’re having an off day too. What I have also found is that with tolerance, my stress level has reduced dramatically. I have always found the glass half full but sometimes have taken a negative approach when all was doom and gloom. This new found sense of tolerance and helping where I can, has made me a more positive and very much less stressed person.

Imagine if the worlds politicians were more tolerant of one another and if opposing religious and political foes were more tolerant of one another. The whole world landscape could change for the better. So I am doing my bit, and doing my best to be tolerant of all around me, which I think (hope) makes me a better person than I was.

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