Let’s start here if we are to code…

If you’re writing about the economy all the time, there are two main risks involved: You are bound to get heavy criticism when you try to warn people against sneakily developing problems, especially when things seem to be going well. And you make some people mad when you offer solutions in bad times. After a while, the things you say become a boring routine because you get used to say them again and again just to make sure that it is all well understood.

That’s why you need to the take the risk of being a bit boring if you have to get to the root of the problem. In my recent interview with Dr. Kerem Dündar, he asked me, “How would you describe the period we are living in?” “Let me tell you about the codes of our age” I responded.

I think every person has to have three important types of behaviour or value in this particular era we all are living in. For the sake of this story, let’s call them “codes”

  1. Confrontation: People who are not used to spend too much time with their family due to their busy work schedule may be truly seeing them for the first time during this period of quarantine. As most people do not leave their jobs or titles behind when they get home, they tend to say a simple “good night” to their family and go to bed without revealing their true identity. There are so many parents around who try to escape their responsibilities by hiding behind their jobs or their job titles. And now, people who used to see each other only for a couple of hours every day now have to look at each other’s faces all day long. But, you can make something useful out of this situation. No type of sports or entertainment would be enough to help people get along, especially if these people already can’t meet on any common ground. But, now that they are stuck at home, they have to reconcile somehow. But first they need to confront themselves. As titles like “boss, member of parliament, minister, professor, director, manager” do not apply at home, there will be plenty of time for these people to question their roles as “mother, father, child and as a human being”.
  2. Self-sufficiency: People who used to talk about nothing but their jobs now seem deeply interested in changing light bulbs, cooking, saving money, doing simple home repairs, gardening, exercising, playing a musical instrument, unloading the dishwasher, or cleaning for the first time in their lives. They may even be on their way to become professional beautician. The longer they stay at home; teenagers will understand the fact that it is necessity to keep their home clean, not something they must do because their parents told them so. Eventually, people will realize that “self-sufficiency” is a very important type of coding, especially in terms of self-development. Those who used to sit at table and wait for the other to bring him/her food will understand that it is actually quite meaningless and risky to need somebody else to get food. They will reconsider whether it’s reasonable or not to call a repairman for a simple breakdown, or hire personal trainer for exercising, or call cleaning services to have their house cleaned. They will consult with experts when they decide to take a more well-thought approach towards such daily chores.
  3. Patience: “Patience” will become the greatest virtue that one has to have if s/he wants to develop those skills I mentioned above and get along well with his/her family members. When teenagers object to something, parents will know how to listen to them with patience. Then when it’s time for parents to tell their opinions, teenagers will hear them patiently. This is the only way if we want to co-exist in peace. But you should also know that you can’t become a repairman, yoga instructor, guitar player, singer, economist, chef, psychologist, historian or a doctor by watching some videos on YouTube. But, obviously it’s important to have a certain amount of knowledge on health, sports, gastronomy, mentorship, music, books, art, films etc. You have to have patience to learn and keep learning. It’s always useful to know a bit about the work highly capable and skilled people do, so as to be able to comprehend their greatness. Therefore, “patience” will become one of the most important codes of this waiting period.

In conclusion, I think it might be better to focus on the positive outcomes of this social isolation period, rather than its negative aspects, which may help us to create value for ourselves and everyone around us.