“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

The causes of depression may be bereavement, fear, isolation, loss of income, alcohol and drug abuse, physical health issues, insomnia, anxiety, and genetics. Also, we humans need social experiences to learn our culture and to survive. Weak socialization will aggravate the situation.

This situation has recently been exacerbated by the advent and spread of COVID-19. Cabin fever has set in. The length of time it takes to implement vaccination and therapeutic programs to mitigate the impact of the disaster can be an irritant.

Health professionals may prescribe antidepressants as a temporary panacea, but the real challenge is to light up the spirit within us. To this end, my mother left with me many years ago with a powerful affirmation which has stood me in good stead: “I am, therefore I can, therefore I will.”

In our household, we invested some time on January 20, 2021 to watch the Biden-Harris inauguration. There was an immediate return on this investment in the form of grandeur, warmth, the President’s speech of hope, world-class entertainment, and poet Amanda Gorman’s observation: “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice.” There was the feeling that this event ushered in a new era of healing for our depressed state.

Over four years ago, we instituted a retirement routine of reading inspirational books aloud together and discussing and relating the material to our own beliefs. This allows us to positively influence the evolution of our spiritual thoughts as we pursue the rest of our days on Earth.

I recall that the first book we pulled of the shelf was “wabi sabi – Timeless Wisdom for a Stress-Free Life” by the Swedish writer Agneta Nyholm Winqvist. The book was a Christmas gift in 2012 from my two sons, Kevin and Bevan. In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

This exercise of exploring and discussing many interesting, innovative topics was enjoyable, stimulating and very good for partnership building but somehow, the novelty faded away.

This last week we decided to resume the process when my lady Judy drew my attention to the 1989 Gary Zukav publication “The Seat of the Soul”, which delineates the path between the five-sensory phase of our evolution to the multisensory phase.

The cabin fever experience, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, led us to escape to the north coast of Trinidad for a staycation weekend last year in a family bubble. It is the only type of vacation that many of us can manage while respecting public health protocols. It was so refreshing that we repeated it within weeks. We look forward to gradually resuming our normal retirement tourist activity to keep us in good mental health.

The continued blessing of health and wellness, Deo volente, the powerful maternal affirmation, our belief that the new leadership in the United States is likely to have a positive trickle-down effect, the inspirational reading exercise, and the gradual return to tourism activity, all bode well to light up the spirit within us and extricate ourselves from any darkness of depression.

Dear Lord, we are thankful for the light of life!

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is basilgf@marketplaceexcellence.com. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com/basil-springer-column/ and on www.facebook.com/basilgf).