Bad circumstances show our true character

Crises bring out the true character of a person

The internet troll who wishes other people death on forums and social media. The woman yelling insults into her cell phone in the street. The once oh so good "friends" who haven't contacted us for a year - because in retrospect they weren't friends, but just drinking buddies. The boss who unfiltered the economic pressure on his employees. People who jostle for vaccination. Heads of government who wage small political wars on the backs of their people.

And on the other side of the spectrum: the employees in the test street, who mostly not only work professionally, but also remain friendly. The hobby programmers who built a free web shop for the small business around the corner at the beginning of the pandemic. The people who voluntarily go shopping for their elderly neighbors to protect them. And anyway: All those who work in nursing and retail and have been doing an above-average service there for over a year to the society that had previously debated so often condescendingly about them.

Extreme situations bring out a person's true character, both the best and the worst. It was the same in previous crises, and this is no different with this one. And of course there is a great temptation to give in to the pressure that is currently weighing on all of us. To lose composure and act impulsively. But one thing is certain: like so many others, this crisis will pass. Then we will sit together again in the pub, go to concerts, go on vacation. And in this new normal we will remember who behaved humanly and socially during the crisis - and who did not. (Stefan Mey, April 5th, 2021)