How COVID-19 Saves Us
Let me start here. The world is not ending. I begin with this thought because if you listen to the news, or read a lot of opinion pieces, you’d think otherwise. I am not as surprised at all this gloom and doom. Most humans don’t like change. We resist it whenever and wherever we can. In fact, it’s precisely our resistance to change that has brought us to this moment.
Parables are meant to instruct and enlighten.
A farmer is riding in a horse drawn buggy on his way to market with his crops. Suddenly the horse begins to veer off the road to his right. So, the farmer tugs the reigns left in order to correct the horse’s direction. A few miles later the horse suddenly veers left. This time, the farmer tugs on the reigns to the right to make the correction. Only this time he tugs harder. He is losing patience with the horse’s efforts to go his own way. After all, the market will close, and the crops will not get purchased if the farmer does not arrive while its open. Several miles later, the horse gains speed and veers sharply right. This time, the farmer unhooks the whip and cracks the horse across his rump. It hurts, but the horse no longer veers left or right. It stays straight on the path until they reach the market.
We’ve had many tugs on humanity’s reigns. On September 11, 2001 we veered right. In November 2008, as the U.S. and global economies nearly collapsed, we veered left. Both events were tugs on the reigns. Now it’s 2020 and we have COVID-19.
The whip has been unhooked and we have been cracked.
For those who have been truly awakened and aware for any length of time, there is no surprise in having reached our current circumstances. You can only defy the Laws of Nature and the Laws of the Universe for so long without adverse consequences. So, here we are.
But now let’s ask this question. “Is the glass half empty or half full?”
To those who look at where we are, where we might go, and see only dystopia or Armageddon I say, “Look again.” Just start with the immediate consequences of this “imposed isolation.” When was the last time you looked as often at Nature? Or walked in it? When was the last time you thought about the meaning and importance of friends, family or relationships? When was the last time you didn’t have you day filled with more than you could possibly accomplish without nearly incomprehensible stress? When was the last time you had this much time to just think? When was the last time you slowed down enough to fully breathe? When was the last time you read this much, or played music for sheer enjoyment, or worked leisurely in your garden, sewed, painted, or played with your child? Dog? Cat? When was the last time you contemplated the meaning of your life?
The answer to these questions is, “I can’t remember.”
The isolation has revealed an inner world that has been, collectively, starving to death. It was hunger and starvation that some have been trying to warn us about for decades. But those voices were marginalized as kooks, spiritual flakes, con artists, or crazy environmentalists. And by environmentalists I don’t mean Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. I mean enlightened individuals who recognized early on that the inner landscape is as important, if not more so, to our survival than is the outer.
But we kept veering left and right while ignoring the tugs. We were attracted to all things fast, shiny and new. Whether software, cars, clothes, houses, or investments. We couldn’t be bothered with the determination, focus, and patience required for the long haul. We dismissed as a waste of time the commitment to one another that made the silent statement, “We are in this together. What is in my highest and best interest is also in yours. We are one.”
Not “one” in the political sense. Not socialism. Not politics of any kind. Oneness as a fundamental commonality of all living things. Oneness as our common source. Oneness as branches on a single tree. Oneness as inherent connectivity. Oneness as the alpha and the omega…the beginning and the end.
No, we couldn’t be bothered with such non-material, esoteric concepts and challenges. And, so, the whip has cracked.
What is ahead? Change! The one constant in all living things.
We will not be obliterated from the face of the earth. We will refocus. We will re-prioritize. We will recreate ourselves. We will reevaluate and reinvest in those esoteric concepts and challenges we dismissed as having no value. We will revise the dystopian and apocalyptic predictions. We will reemerge from the darkness into the Light. We will remember that we have been to this edge before.
However, this time, we choose not to blindly stumble off of that edge but instead…to spread our wings and consciously soar upward toward the infinite possibilities that await us.