By MUNYARADZI ZINDI CHIKOMBA 0719103604, mchikomba@gmail.com

Tough times call for tough choices and we have made the toughest one, the big question is how best can we embrace such a difficult time. Hope is itself a species of happiness, and perhaps the chief happiness which this world affords.

SAMUEL JOHNSON

We are a generation that has become so selfish and intolerant towards one another especially in our families, relationships and networks we have taken life for granted and I strongly believe this is God teaching us the basic fundamentals of life. I have noted that as a generation we have believed so much in materialism and doing things the way we want not the way they should be done, we are very pleased with self pleasures at home many of us are busy with our smartphones and laptops, we no longer value family time with our parents and guardians. We value relationships made through the phones more than the physical ones we have to embrace everyday. We want to please people who are 1000 miles away from us mistreating the ones we have physically.

We prefer spending the whole day roaming around town doing nothing productive leaving our parents to do their things alone whilst we seek to quench our pleasures. We have neglected the world for so long, we have mistreated the earth and its surroundings and now its time we have to make up for our wrong doings. Nothing more is being asked from us except a little bit of discipline to stay in our homes and see this period through. This is going to be a defining phrase that is going to define the trajectory in which the COVID 19 pandemic will affect us as a nation so it demands everyone to play their part.

Families are broken we don’t talk anymore, we don’t get to discuss issues as families, prayer time as families is very limited. Everyone is doing their own things at their own pace. We don’t honor dinner time where the whole family should gather eat together as it symbolizes unity, peace and love in a home setup, instead we rather have our meals in our bedrooms or later when everyone has slept, if we decide to eat with others we are most likely to be glued to our phones neglecting the quality time we would have been given.

We no longer have common things anymore that can combine and unite us as families. Parents don’t talk anymore, it is a very bad example for the kids intolerance and constant conflicts is the order of the day with parents who are supposed to be the light and direction of the family. We don’t enjoy our homes anymore, our joy and happiness is now found in the streets and social media. These coming days are giving us a new day which will require us to tolerate each other and find ways to make it work otherwise they will be very long and boring. We have to be creative so that we will find more reasons to cherish the togetherness of family.

This phase will present us with an opportunity to mend broken relationships in our homes, we shall be with each other 24/7. We will find ways of make it work because if we don’t we shall have a very long hard time. We should start engaging in family discussions, prayer, exercises, meditation, Bible study, family discussions, debates, games, movie time and so many other various activities so that we can build our families together. Most importantly is prayer we should build families based on prayer which can be a common binding factor which applies to everyone as the holy scriptures says” a family that prays together stays together”.

To men it will a great challenge because we have accustomed ourselves as beings who enjoy outside setups more than we enjoy our homes, wives and children, now is the time to rekindle those lost moments and experiences we should be able to connect, integrate and build our families together. I believe men you are the heads of families and you should lead by example because the family will take the direction which the driver aims so set the pace and be the bridge. Our mothers we know you have been doing the most for a very long time but now it calls the mothers to be the shields and fountains of hope in the families, mothers should be at the forefront of finding ways in which everyone can integrate.

To the children you have the most difficult challenge because this time will require you to do what you are not used to, that is spending every second in your homes. You may not be used to it but you can at least try. You have various forms of entertainment which you can enjoy at the comfort of your homes. You have TV, internet and other various forms of entertainment however you should not quarantine yourselves in your bedrooms and do your things on your own you should encompass everyone. I believe you should initiate family movie time, let’s teach our parents about social media, Netflix and other stuff we enjoy if you have the privilege. You should be at the forefront because you are the ones who are abreast with technology. Young people let’s not find reasons of furthering and deepening the gap instead let’s embrace this time so that we can be the salt of the family. Our biggest role as young people is to learn how to value family and embrace what we have in our families. We have seen so many pictures of family members with happy faces on media being posted, now it’s the times to put that in practice because it is now reality which we should now live with.

At individual level we should embrace these 21 days because the moment we envy and view it negatively it will be very hard and gruesome, we have been given time to meditate, think deep and analyze our lives. It’s a time to find ourselves, strategize and be honest with ourselves because isolation will make us see the true reality of life, true friends we have and the real meaning of life. At the end am strongly convinced that we will value each other more, we will miss each other, we will know how to manage our lives better after these 3 weeks. Previous generations have played their part in the struggle of mankind, as a generation of today we have been so privileged to have a smooth flow. Our role is to just be in our homes having all the comfort unlike previous generations who were required to leave home go in the bush and fight for our freedom.

As for us we are only required to stay indoors for 21 days only and I strongly believe we can do it for humanity because this virus has the potential of whipping out a greater number of the population globally if steps like these are not embraced. This is a good time for us as a generation to compensate what we have lost and repossess it. We have taken life for granted for a very long time and I believe this is God calling us to go back at the drawing board and start afresh with a new mindset so that we can make this world a better safer place. We will go through this together as individuals, families, communities and as a country. We will be in this together supporting one another, let’s find ways to make this work, let’s embrace it, let’s shift our mindsets, let’s find hobbies that will make this time a good time let’s stay connected to each other let’s make it work, May God bless you and the ones you love, God bless Zimbabwe.