Last week I was recommended a long read and I have only just managed to get to, as whereas Bill Gates might sprint through 20 pages of dense copy, I am still struggling to make time for anything other than a light or quick read in between all the video calling that has now become our new normal .
And if I'm honest it was really only at about page 17 that the words began to strike a chord and so I now find myself impulsively wanting to share The Coronation by Charles Eisenstein.
Maybe it's the emerging impact of nearly 7 weeks since myself and the team have all been in lockdown and working from home but I do sense we are all starting to ask more questions about the world and our place in it.
What more could we achieve together? How quick and possible would it be for us all to unite around the same cause?
I know for many this is a time of great anxiety and despair but much depends on our own attitude and I am determined to believe and ever optimistic to hope that in the future years ahead Coronavirus and our response to it will change the course of our lives for our common good and unlock the true power of our communities.
Do you also agree now it the time we must and 'can .. build an intentional society on the love already shining through the cracks of the world of separation'?
We can normalize heightened levels of separation and control, believe that they are necessary to keep us safe, and accept a world in which we are afraid to be near each other. Or we can take advantage of this pause, this break in normal, to turn onto a path of reunion, of holism, of the restoring of lost connections, of the repair of community and the rejoining of the web of life. Do we double down on protecting the separate self, or do we accept the invitation into a world where all of us are in this together? It isn’t just in medicine we encounter this question: it visits us politically, economically, and in our personal lives as well. Take for example the issue of hoarding, which embodies the idea, “There won’t be enough for everyone, so I am going to make sure there is enough for me.” Another response might be, “Some don’t have enough, so I will share what I have with them.” Are we to be survivalists or helpers? What is life for? On a larger scale, people are asking questions that have until now lurked on activist margins. What should we do about the homeless? What should we do about the people in prisons? In Third World slums? What should we do about the unemployed? What about all the hotel maids, the Uber drivers, the plumbers and janitors and bus drivers and cashiers who cannot work from home? And so now, finally, ideas like student debt relief and universal basic income are blossoming. “How do we protect those susceptible to Covid?” invites us into “How do we care for vulnerable people in general?” That is the impulse that stirs in us, regardless of the superficialities of our opinions about Covid’s severity, origin, or best policy to address it. It is saying, let’s get serious about taking care of each other. Let’s remember how precious we all are and how precious life is. Let’s take inventory of our civilization, strip it down to its studs, and see if we can build one more beautiful. As Covid stirs our compassion, more and more of us realize that we don’t want to go back to a normal so sorely lacking it. We have the opportunity now to forge a new, more compassionate normal.