What To Do When The Beast Gives Chase
By Ryan Hunter, For the GPHN
As I look out the window, I have to say that this “Indian Winter” we’ve had in April is not helping! So what have I been doing to stay sane?
Music is a big part of our family. We love to go see live concerts and have many friends in the music industry – both performers and crew. The pandemic struck out of nowhere and disrupted their lives and their livelihoods. My family and I created a fun cover of My Sharona called No Corona, performed it and shared it on social media to inspire others to contribute to the cause. (Check out the performance at tinyurl.com/NoCoronaMusic.)
I am really missing the music right now. I was planning to attend a half dozen concerts in April, so I’ve been looking for ways to get more music in my life. Some of the live streams that musicians have shared have been incredible. Some of them have been a trainwreck too!
One way that I have tried to get more music in my life is to learn to play an instrument. I have never learned! My daughter had a ukulele gathering dust so I decided to give it a shot. I’m learning to play ukulele via YouTube and I have to say, I love it!
Another project has been an online course from Yale called the Science of Well-Being. This class has been really inspiring. It’s free and I recommend it to anyone coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being
I really believe this period will be a renaissance. I was reading an article in Rolling Stone the other day and Micah Nelson, the avant-garde musician and son of Willie Nelson framed it very nicely. As the magazine noted, Nelson turned to Isaac Newton for inspiration:
“During the plague in Isaac Newton’s time, he had just completed study at Oxford,” Nelson says. “He was slotted to join faculty. The epidemic caused the university to shut down for two years. He went to a private cabin and created the foundation of what would evolve into quantum physics. Who knows what people will create when they are faced with four walls and the sudden contrast to an assumed freedom? When the beast gives chase, even the most numb of minds remember that they are alive.”
What comes next for us will be really uncertain. Over the past 20 years our economy has transitioned from manufacturing based to a service-based economy. The service providers have been harder hit than anyone through the pandemic. Similarly, over the past decade seniors have made up a greater percentage of our labor force than at any point in history. When we return from the pandemic, they will face the most risk in order to work and I wonder how that will shape our labor force going forward.
These things concern me, but I have so much hope because we most definitely will see the largest baby boom in history coming out of this time. That coupled with a new renaissance could be the spark we need to heal the earth, heal the country and move forward. I am optimistic.
Ryan Hunter is a board member for Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. He lives in Park Hill with his family.