If you’re a bit like me, you’ve been asking a lot of questions during the twin crises of 2020, the pandemic and the protests. Our country, and the global community, has been turned upside down in many ways.
Is it all bad? What good can come of this?
The pandemic: Acknowledging the suffering caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus—the deaths, the fear of catching the virus, having to stay put at home, wearing masks, standing in line when shopping (not to mention the lack/hoarding of toilet paper early on)—has forced us all to learn new ways of schooling, working, worshiping, living.
The protests: The eruption of protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands (and knee) of Minneapolis police, I believe, sprang from several factors: The hundreds of years of oppression of black people in this country coupled with the repression caused by the pandemic. Like a pot of boiling water with a tight lid, eventually the steam busts loose and the lid goes flying. Floyd’s death, highlighting police brutality, was the last straw and the protests had to happen.
My main question is: What are the positive outcomes, the opportunities born of these crises?
Benefits to our planet: With folks driving less, and industry and air travel largely on hold, the earth’s air quality is cleaner, waters are clearing, and seismologists have reported the vibration of the planet has settled back to normal without all the “pummeling” we humans do in our activities. I am observing wisdom as we “open up” for business in ways that are surprisingly, and delightfully, mindful.
Benefits to lifestyles: Many working people were ordered to work from home, and are now enjoying a more relaxed pace without the stress of commuting, leaving behind traffic congestion and long hours on the road. Families are able to have dinner together regularly, and bonding in ways that bring them closer. Shopping trips are more organized and less often. We’re learning we need less, enjoying the simpler things in life. Our nervous systems are resettling, relaxing, rebalancing. We’re more rested.
And, more people are walking and biking for exercise, feeling safer with less traffic on the roads.
Benefits to our community: The City of Norwalk, our police department, and all of our institutions whether municipal, state, federal, or private must become aware of and then seek to make sweeping changes in how we view and treat all people, regardless of color, or any other feature that makes all of us unique. We are finally waking up to the fact that we are intertwined with one another as humanity, and not separate from nature. We need each other and the earth. This is an exciting and evolutionary time!
Last questions: Can we ever really “go back” to what we were? How can we hold onto these new ways of living which we’re enjoying now?
If we don’t live it now, when?