This morning we are kicking off a week long series focusing on what we’ve learned from this pandemic and the safer at home orders. Our goal as martial artists is to take on challenges as opportunities for growth. Our first essay comes from Instructor Marika Holbus.
Today I Learned
One of my biggest takeaways from being quarantined is the importance of community and the impact it can make. This situation is unique because there are few places in the world who haven’t been affected by the novel coronavirus. But tough times can bring people together. I get to spend more time with my family and pets, as well as catching up with friends and other loved ones over the phone. This may never happen again, after I graduate and make my own life, building my career.
Being quarantined has encouraged me to be thankful for all that I have and all the people I’ve had the privilege to know. And as I enter my senior year next semester, I have reflected on what community means to me and how I’ll foster that after I graduate. Out of all the communities I’ve participated in, City Youth Martial Arts has been one of the most important ones in my life. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Everyone feels like a family. Everyone cares about each other. It’s really pleasant to be around.
As our director Mrs. Palmisano once told me, taekwondo as a sport is about give and take. You start as a student and are always a student; you learn from your instructors and students, and then you give back to your students by teaching them.
We can’t be together right now, but since the lockdown, we’ve all tried to stay in contact and keep our community going, from hosting video lessons to sending out newsletters. Checking in on each other. Making up things to do. Audre Lord once said, “Without community, there is no liberation.” The little things we can do to brighten someone’s day have always mattered, now more than ever. We will come out stronger because, despite being alone, we persevered through it together. No one is alone in this, which may be the most beautiful thing about this.