Three Major Mental Effects of this Pandemic and How to Counter Them!

By now, it should be a solid year Cambodia has declared the attack by the current pandemic. The first outbreak was detected in Siem Reap last year. For some reason, we survived a few outbreaks. Still, the new wave, dating February 20th, proves stronger than ever, taking a few Cambodian lives already. As a result, I had the time to reflect on the mental effects COVID-19 might have caused us, even non-patients. Brace yourself as the next paragraphs may transcend your realities!

1- Procrastination is Real

We have come to tolerate the tardiness of our work. When we reached a stable phase and looked back, we go, “Why shouldn’t this have been done earlier?” Oddly enough, we forgot we were the one to allow it to happen that late! Despite this unwanted procrastination, I’d say we need to update each other of our commitments, no matter how late they may be. Better still is to keep ourselves busy with online education, as mentioned in this previous post!

2- Moral Injury Affects us all

As elaborated in this article, moral jury would have rather affected war veterans, who could have other saved their fellows. In this modern time, due to fast infection, we couldn’t even stay by our loved ones in the last minute. Worse is our inability to bury the deceased, discomforting some religions. I believe if any measure is taken by our medical authorities, this rather means well to us, the living. This compliance will not only keep us alive, but also other lives safe – physically and morally.

3- The New Normal is More Virtual than Physical

This part feels unfamiliar to some, when one has been so used to face-to-face interactions. Although a previous post of mine addressed online interactions, until now, I realize these have not benefited my works that much. How many of you have gone on Zoom, disabling your video feature and acting as if you care about your colleague(s)?! I understand that muting yourself in such conversations may keep them from hearing unnecessary noise. Still, for an “empathic” compromise, I’d suggest the callers show their faces – if not videos – in the beginning and end of such e-meetings.

To sum up, we are still facing some uncertainty of this pandemic and its long-lasting trauma. As we are spiritual beings, virtuality does not seem that bad, especially when we still care about our causes: family and work 🙂 After all, let us bear in mind to not use COVID-19 as an excuse to stop moving forward in life.

PS: Sorry I have no bonus video for this post. But you may feel energized again after reading this article. It covers mindfulness at workplace shared with me by Narin from MastermindClub 🙂

A Little Buddha?

After missing two weeks of my movie-going habit, Legend Cinema is still generous in encouraging bloggers like me to enjoy their “new” films! This time, I was invited one week before the premiere day. Then, I could be more prepared for full enjoyment. Watching a new movie after my urgent translation was done, was quite a relief. The movie to watch was “The Last Airbender”. As I learned from some review or rumors, it is not so good to watch. Although I saw parts of it before, I was curious to watch the whole thing. A few say the cartoon turns out better. This was confirmed by my film companion this time: Chhoy. Besides being an avid film lover, Chhoy is the best designer of our film collective, Kon Khmer Koun Khmer. Most of our event artworks were designed by him. You’ll feel like hiring him right away when you spot his piece!

Plot
As I learned from Wikipedia.org, the entire story is very much inspired by Eastern philosophies. No wonder the main character is a young monk! So here’s how our story goes:
The world is divided into four kingdoms, each represented by the element they harness, and peace has lasted throughout the realms of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire under the supervision of the Avatar, a link to the spirit world and the only being capable of mastering the use of all four elements. When young Avatar Aang disappears, the Fire Nation launches an attack to eradicate all members of the Air Nomads to prevent interference in their future plans for world domination. 100 years pass and current Fire Lord Ozai continues to conquer and imprison anyone with elemental “bending” abilities in the Earth and Water Kingdoms, while siblings Katara and Sokka from a Southern Water Tribe find a mysterious boy trapped beneath the ice outside their village. Upon rescuing him, he reveals himself to be Aang, Avatar and last of the Air Nomads. Swearing to protect the Avatar, Katara and Sokka…Written by The Massie Twins

Casting
Since this story has more to do with Eastern philosophies like Buddhism and Taoism, I don’t understand why most of the characters are Westerners! Was it the same reason as “Same, same, but different”? In this German film, the main female character is Thai although, in real life, she is Cambodian. As I heard, the main reason they didn’t choose a Cambodian actress was because none of the could perform as well as that Thai actress, especially in intimate scenes. Does this apply to “The Last Airbender”, too? Or they want to come up with something creatively reverse?!

Sacrifice
I guess most of moral pieces of this movie can be found in the end. Northern Water Tribe princess, Yue, sacrificed her life to save that of the water spirit, without which all lives on Earth would lose balance. I guess the sacrifice is found harder when she just finds the boy of her dream, Sokkha, who protects the Avatar. So would you be willing to do that for a big cause if you knew you were the chosen one?

Buddhist resolution
While some critics would want this story to end in disasters or destruction, like in most action movies, I’d admire how it is closed. Aang meditates to find the solution to his problems faced with the offensive Fire Nation. So the dragon spirit reminds him that, as an Avatar, he’s not supposed to harm people. So he says, “Show them the power of water”. Near the end, Aang does do this and most of the audience, I believe, think the tall water like Tsunamis would crash all the vassals of the Fire Nation. But what he actually does to just push away those ships from that Water Kingdom.

Maturity
Aang is called the last Airbender as his kind is eradicated by the Fire Nation a hundred years ago, for which time, he is stuck in a big ice after running away from his temple. You may wonder why he escapes. Well, because he finds himself too young to be the Avatar, the only person on the planet able to “bend” all four elements, who can save the world. Only after he shows his capacity to bend the ocean does he accepts such a responsibility, proving him mature enough to take up new life challenges.

Personal rating
I’d give this movie 6/10. First, I don’t really understand the casting! Second, one could find incorrect scenes easily in it, like when Aang induces the Earthbenders to regain their power! But the effects of this film were superbly mastered and shown. The rest, I’ll leave to you to “judge”!