Sunél’s Blog | The last of the human freedoms

Sunél Veldtman, | 15 May 2020

This week, as I digested President Ramaphosa’s speech, I was struck by the enormity of what we are experiencing. Not for the first time, an acute anxiety about the outcome of the Great Lockdown overwhelmed me. The economic consequences will be extremely difficult to deal with.

Maybe you haven’t felt anxiety. Perhaps you have felt powerless, helpless, scared or confused.  Perhaps you have chosen to ignore the threats to your future or maybe you are already fighting for survival. Each of us responds to the threat in a different way.

We are all in unfamiliar territory, being held captive by an unknown enemy and the erratic response of our governments; both fuel our terror.

Victor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust, said: ‘The last of the human freedoms, [is] the ability to choose one’s own attitude in any given circumstances, the ability to choose one’s own way.’

It is our belief in our own ability to cope that will battle our anxiety, our powerlessness. This daily belief, enough just for today, every day, is what will get us through this. This is hope – a deep trust that it will be fine. You can do this. We can do this.

What we need now is hope.