On our 8th month in this longest quarantine, setting another uncomfortable fact worthy of citation for the Philippines in the Guinness World Records, it appears that we still think of things and activities (including setting deadlines for academic requirements, asking about rules on attendance, tenure of faculty and research/extension/professional staff, etc.) as if we were in the classic normal. The prolonged agony of waiting for better ways and the obvious lack of direction as to where we as a nation are going seem to give an illusion especially for the more privileged that everything looks alright. But we are not – we are not in the classic, traditional normal. We are still under an emergency – where the new normal is not the traditional normal, where compassion, caring and extending our understanding of our fellow human beings and other creatures are of utmost importance, where you always put your feet in the shoes of others. After this pandemic, students will remember less the modules and items we teach in virtual classrooms. They will only recall the hardships they went through and the learning for life that they picked. Beyond this seemingly endless lockdown, workers and employees (teachers included) will forget all strict deadlines we set and how well we followed and “stuck to the rules.” But we will always recall those of our friends, superiors and subordinates who supported us through this journey through hell. In all of these, through all of these, whether everyone or no one will remember, kindness is the unwritten but most valuable rule. Even in the earlier species of humans, that seemed to be the major key to survival.
Kindness should continue its reign in this pandemic and always.