No doubt 2021 was a difficult year in every sense of the word.
However, anyone who has had the benefit of supportive relationships will not deny the strength enjoyed from that healthy circle of contacts, associations, affiliations and the likes.
With the COVID-19 turbulence in our lives over the last two years, if there is any investment that seems to have sustained one’s high and low moments, it was the sustained investments made in relationships. That is my verdict.
The true value of relationships flourished in 2021, a year when myriads of challenges confronted many, including families, friends, churches, schools and businesses. From the many social media platforms I belong,I had reason to believe last year, that relationships have provided support, comfort and extra doses of daily strength.
The benefits of social media, endless chats on whatsapp, face time, zoom, webinars and many more, provided instant gratification. The sanity gained therefrom was like precisely what the doctor prescribed.
Despite the challenges faced in every corner of the world, internet connectivity has energised old and created loads of new relationships via social media platforms. These, no doubt, have fared us well, keeping one connected and energised.
The closeness of even distanced families, friends and other acquaintances became real sharing sometimes, extraordinary care and love. It was as if people were just waiting for the right moment to link up.
Yes, opportunities to meet face to face were very limited but the fact was that on trusted social media platforms, scores of love were freely shared by acquaintances on daily basis. Thanks to the wave of relationships that swept through, there is no gainsay that a silver lining to COVID-19 was at hand.
The urge to join some affiliated platforms enriched one’s social life, keeping acquaintances not only in touch but also updated. Thus all forms of relationships – school mates, year groups, university course mates, church groups, professional groups and many more, kept the soul and body together in 2021.
This new wave of relationships thankfully connected in many joyful ways. Sharing of birthdays and other anniversaries which used to be for very close family and friends extended to the wider social networking relationships one belongs to.
Consequently, depending on one’s networks, the number of birthday or other anniversary wishes became overwhelming with beautiful e-cakes, e-champagnes and wines, e-flowers and e-gifts. The days of normal times could not have brought us so closer and caring for one other.
It may have been a painful pandemic due to the loss of dear ones. However, because the investments in relationships have turned out to be extra solid, the actual harsh effects of the pain of the pandemic in terms of loneliness and social isolation may have been quite minimal.
Despite the continued social isolation, the worthy investments in connections and associations have created bonded relationships that have reaped enriched benefits in people’s lives.
One would go to bed on any day with countless goodnight messages, emojis and wake up the next day with abundance of Bible messages, enriched devotions and greetings from relationships endeared from all parts of the world.
The resultant effect was a feeling of belonging. A great moment to start one’s day knowing there are many looking out for one’s interest.
With a New Year now dawned, there is the need to say a big thank you to those in our circle of relationships who, because they were, we also have been.
The lemons thrown at us by COVID-19 have definitely been turned into lemonades as far as relationships are concerned.
On our social media platforms, we were able to laugh and cry together. The days when the storms of life overtook and drowned us, when a loved one was lost, this rich buffer of relationships provided instant support and care. It was never like that before.
It has often been said that our social connections are key for a healthy life. I am now savouring the truth in that saying.
I will always cite my school’s year group platform as a healing therapy to have. Some strong bonding of sisterly love has engulfed all of us. We continued to laugh hard when it was time to laugh and bonded closely with sympathetic arms stretched out when it was that time to lend support.
Any wonder that on the night of December 30, 2021, we could hold our glasses up at a virtual end-of-year party and drink a toast to our sisterly relationship. We now call ourselves, Sisters-for-life because that is what we have become due to the rich relationship we have cultivated in the difficult times.
Relationships, going forward, are going to be investment banks. Perhaps trusted to yield even better dividends!