It was already infected when it came our way but the world gambled and played on at the game of life. We were halted in our tracks, leaving muddy footprints on the elderly, the vulnerable, the carers and the poor. We come out of this year knowing that all lives matter, and that there isn’t just one deadly virus but many and unfortunately, there is no vaccine for prejudice, ignorance and fear. For these afflictions, we must inject ourselves with tolerance, hope, and love. May forgiveness and unity be the gifts we give each other this holiday season.
As days of social distancing turn into weeks, and perhaps months, we wonder will life ever return to normal. What is normal? For the first time in years we have an opportunity to step off the global thread mill of capitalism, consumerism and competition. One of the first things resulting from the announcement of lock downs, were the lines at check-outs, as consumers loaded up on essential items. This had an adverse effect on vulnerable members of our community when they found entire shelves emptied as a result of panic buying.
Our conditioned minds are consistent with a global economy that elevates capitalism and disregards poverty. Our current global crisis is symptomatic of a post war attitude of accumulating assets and wealth. This is not a judgement but merely a wake-up call. It is time to take a long hard look at ourselves, our society and our attitude toward our environment. If reports are to be believed, this coronavirus may be with us in some form or other for several months, or even years. As a global society we need to adapt our mental attitudes towards our health, our aspirations and our fellow humans. Justifiably, everyone is hailing health professionals and key workers as true heroes. Just as in a time of war, we praise front-line soldiers, and in times of civil unrest we praise our police force and fire service. But how soon will their efforts be forgotten? When we realise there isn’t an imminent threat to our health? As soon as the danger passes, we return to our normal behaviour patterns conditioned by the ego. Ego patterns follow the national and global trend. When the economy is buoyant and food is plentiful, we feel comfortable and perhaps complacent about our situation. Alternatively, when fear arises in the world due to a pandemic and its catastrophic effects on the economy, we follow that trend becoming hyper vigilant and remaining shut off from our community.
There is a pattern emerging here. We are micro-chips supporting a global stream of thought. Individually, we need to take responsibility for our contribution to the current world order. Our ego will deny its contribution to a failing world system. It is our inner reality that decides how we experience the world. The more entrenched we are in ego and its conditioned adoration of consumerism, the more we are a slave to competition and market trends. As that commercial world crumbles under the inevitable economic fallout, we will suffer with it because that is where the ego’s allegiance lies. However, if we align with the inner truth at the core of our being, we will emerge as a new world consciousness. Stable, connected and united.
We may for a time withstand the waves of world uncertainty washing over us, but eventually as the shore of old routines recede further and further, we must trust our ability to float to the surface, buoyed by the current of absolute reality.
One thing that will come out of global self-isolation is a deeper appreciation of our natural surroundings. As soon as lock downs were announced around the world people flocked to national parks and green spaces, many for the first time in several weeks, even months.
In the rising age of technology we are spending more and more time on our phones and laptops. Our entertainment comes from streaming programs and movies. Essentially, we live in a Wi-Fi world. Nature is something remote, removed from our daily experience. Perhaps the current crisis will lead us to find more balance between insular online activity and outdoor exercise. There is nothing like something being prohibited to cause a longing for it. Driving through open spaces, no matter how scenic, is still a step removed from the immersive experience that comes from walking, jogging and cycling, among other outdoor pursuits, while filling our lungs with clean air.
Maybe we are nature’s virus and it has sent us to our rooms, flats and houses to wallow in the comfort we so desire, while it recovers and regenerates. Everything in the universe is replication; the micro reflects the macro. The micro organism (covid-19) that is attacking human airways is a replication of the human attacking the atmosphere. While scientists work tirelessly to find a cure for the virus, the earth has found a cure – confining humanity within four walls until we learn to appreciate our natural environment and treat it with utmost respect.
When we finally emerge from our cocoons, I hope we have a deeper appreciation of the natural world and our responsibility to give it equal respect as if it were our own body.