The movie “Top Gun” has a memorable dialogue “You can by my wingman anytime”.
Indeed, in these stressful times of COVID-19, burdening us with the worries and concerns about the stresses of our daily lives with an uncertain future ahead, we are all in need of our wingman. Borrowing the concept from combat flying, it’s the wingman who has got the back of the lead aircraft, tells us that we could either be our buddies’ wingman, or if feeling low, ourselves be in need of a wingman. Either way, we need to look beyond ourselves in these bad weather days.
It may be difficult to admit our sufferings and pains during the current times to another. Yet when the load that we carry in our heads becomes unbearable, we need someone trustworthy to share it. This may not lessen the immediate burdens of our daily lives brought about by the prevailing COVID-19 driven downturn in the aviation industry. However, it may ease the pain felt when shared with another. Especially so, when we might be thinking that we alone are miserable in this world, little realising that there could be many others in situations worse than our own. This is not to suggest that we underestimate our plight – we need to be realistic. But sharing may help reduce the emotional burden of the grim situation that we face. Such sharing is intended to help us remain positive while we sit out the trying times of current uncertainty. Sometimes this may even help discover alternatives that may help us tide over the crisis.
It is not suggested at all that we need to look for a shoulder to cry on. In fact, this may be a difficult proposition to accept by many, particularly the males who grew up with an attitude of ‘boys don’t cry’, howsoever strong their need be to pour it all out on a sympathetic listener. Instead, they may be coping with their troubled thoughts – worries, concerns, fears – by either drowning themselves in self-pity or negative thoughts about their own selves and in the worst-case scenario resorting to heavy drinking. But would it help?
We all have a need to express our innermost fears and anxieties. We may be keeping it buried within ourselves for various reasons – macho image, inability to trust another, lack of rapport, lack of communication with family and friends, and such. During trying times, when the need for catharsis is at its peak, rather when we may be crying inside, we may find it difficult to seek help. Yet an ability to connect with another through tough times is very important; for holding another’s hand may help us wade through the troubled times and may act as healing balm for our troubled hearts.
The moot question is, are we up to it? Can we pick up our phone and call our buddy to connect and to speak what is happening within ourselves and how we are coping with the tough COVID-19 times without being afraid of being judged or ridiculed? Can we share it with our partners who may be willing to listen, if we show the courage to speak out?
Remember, those listening to you may not have solutions to the problems faced by you. For all you know, they themselves may be in a similar state. Yet, positive relationships and meaningful friendships are the anchors where we trust another to hold our hands. Especially so, when we are sinking in a morass of our own pity or worries due to prevailing conditions impacting us awfully hard.
If you think your buddy has got your back, call him/her to (re-)connect now.