My beloved, precious and few friends, I have slightly delayed my New Year wishes … because I’m still puzzled as to how much I believe in wishes at this stage…
Let’s look at things together and discover our present predicament is actually a blessing in disguise, will you?
First and foremost….
I- Without COVID-19 we would probably still have a bully as American President instead of the very decent man who isn’t afraid of quoting St Augustin, being emotional and honest.
II- Without COVID-19 our homes (well, mine for sure), would still be that resting and changing device between two performances at the opera, theatre, school or trips!
III- Without COVID-19 we would still believe Chile, New Zealand and Tasmania were within easy reach !
IV- Without COVID-19 we wouldn’t have wondered about past testimonies of disasters such as those told by Daniel Defoe, Dante, Boccaccio and.. Barbara Tuchman!
V- Without COVID-19 we would still have taken humour for granted instead of expecting and laughing with every black humour cartoon invented by fertile and genial minds at ever new catastrophe and new brand of this pandemic hydra.
VI- Without COVID-19, our students wouldn’t have realised the precious value of education.
VI- Without COVID-19, we wouldn’t know how much we enjoy human touch we, Mediterranean people who used to take it for granted.
VIII- Without COVID-19, French trains lavatories would still be a disgusting and appallingly dirty disgrace forbidding us to drink for fear of a be long journey till the next acceptable loo.
IX- Without COVID-19, we would still take live performances and “small invisible people” for granted.
X- Without COVID-19, we would still have to shake hands with (or kiss…) suspiciously dirty people.
XI- Without COVID-19, I would still enjoy walking in nature, something I have come to hate after being forced to do it during the first confinement. I now know I am a city girl at heart, not that I had much doubt about it….
XII- Without COVID-19, I wouldn’t have had to question and reformulate my whole teaching strategy.
XIII- Without COVID-19, we would still have colds, flue and all these winter disagreements.
XIV- Without COVID-19, I would never have reorganised my bookshelves both in Geneva or Paris.
XV- Without COVID-19, I would still be dreaming about joining Ecole du Louvre instead of savouring my Thursday evening classes as one of the most precious moments of my week.
XVI- Without COVID-19, we would all still take life for granted.
XVII- Without COVID-19, we wouldn’t have appreciated the extent and reality of collective responsibility, of our absolute and crucial interdependence.
XVIII- Without COVID-19, I wouldn’t have realised how vital pictural and architectural art were for my sanity….
XIX- Without COVID-19, I wouldn’t know how extraordinary my daughter is and how proud I am to be blessed with two incredible children.
XX- Without COVID-19, I wouldn’t have been worried about my adored son having caught “a mere flue” and wandering South America at pandemic times….
XXI- Without COVID-19, I wouldn’t have realised how much I enjoyed Swiss cosiness and French vitality.
So, counting all these blessings that make us, me, more human and aware, let me again tell you how important it is to enjoy what we have instead of deploring what we temporarily lost.
Ahead of us, in a near and foreseeable future, we will all be vaccinated yet aware that all these blessings can’t be taken for granted.
There’s still a huge task ahead of us, grubby hubbub giving education a major part in our society. Without it, no matter how rich, we would never have found a vaccine within 9 months .
Yet, the lesson and testimony my mentor Benjamin Barber left us remains the cornerstone of our interdependence on which any cloudless future should and will be built.
May we all, next year, be exchanging lighter and reckless wishes but until then, my friends, take care of yourselves and may we be more and not less around our table a year from now!