We fail to understand that when one of us suffers, we all suffer.
It has been far too long that we, as a society, have prioritized the economy over humanity. We have been focussed on GNP over TLC. It has been a minute since I took Econ but my take on capitalism in its current form is that it has reached the point of diminishing marginal returns for most of the globe. So perhaps we are ripe for a re-org.
I am not talking about a coup. I am talking about keeping our eyes open for new ways of doing things and taking advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves, ones that prioritize people. Some companies are on board, embracing the unforeseen possibilities stemming from the changes that were thrust upon them with Corona and quarantine. Working from home, once frowned upon, has surprisingly gone quite well. Home schooling on the other hand, not so much. As schools reopen with some crazy schedules, sure to tax any parent, especially a working one, it is clear that there is more work to be done. Colleges could do a lot more with remote learning. They could, at the expense of their exclusivity, open their schools to so many more students at much lower prices. This could ease student stress and close the education gap marginalizing so many. Exclusivity and prestige are a small price to pay for something that could benefit mostly everyone!
Where bold steps are not being considered, fear is the culprit. Fear of change, fear of loss, fear of the domino effects that may be created as the genie is let out of the bottle. Nothing may look the way it had. And this freaks out the control freaks (aka the powers that be.)
From my small perch, I hope that the companies where working remotely worked well, embrace giving their employees choice - choice on how to run their own lives, where they want to live, what is good for their families. And I hope they find ways to support them while also capitalizing on the savings this can offer. What an opportunity for a win-win. I hope that the people who worked from home and hated it also have the choice to return to work where the camaraderie or structure is welcome. Whichever choices we make moving forward individually and collectively, success will only be achieved if it is predicated on a win-win. We simply can’t compromise anymore and pretend it is a success.
For those who are in wait and see mode, take the reigns on your life. Make those bold decisions you are hoping others will make for you. We do not have to wait for governments, employers and educators to get their acts together. The shift begins within each of us, right here, right NOW. It is impossible to effect change on the outside or on a larger scale if we have not embraced the inner changes knocking at our door during this pandemic. None of us has been unaffected. Don't make the whispers turn to shouts before you engage.
For me the shifts are so subtle and so dramatic. I feel a new closeness for and of my family. The trust I have in each of my kids, seeing them as they are for the first time really, warms my heart. While I had not been conscious of it they were frozen in time for me where I was the one who knew best. Now I see them as sovereign beings on their own journeys, and only they know what is best for them. Thank you COVID for that. And thanks to a birthday gift from my parents of a bird feeder, I have also been repairing my connection to nature. Slowing down and appreciating what is around me so much more. Not in a forced way, but in a natural way. I walk so slowly now even the dog is confused. I am finding comfort, as I never could, in releasing the ‘shoulds’ that dominated my life and relinquishing my impulses to fix everything, need everything to be just so, or even to see anything as wrong. Everything just is. My reactivity is also way down, which can sometimes brings others’ way up. The net result, though, of all of these very subtle shifts, that words don’t really capture, is a deep connection to my inner peace and my curiosity and excitement for life in whatever form it takes. If you are not sure what your subtle shifts have been, I invite you to get quiet, go inside, and very gently get real with yourself. You don’t want to miss this.
In broader strokes we have come to appreciate others in ways we had not. We have come to appreciate our freedoms, we are spending more time outdoors with nothing in particular to do. We are enjoying the newfound simplicity of life - in entertaining, socializing, and staying at home. Our old frenetic patterns of work and play have been broken and so much dormant creativity is bubbling to the surface. Once we pass through boredom, we start to love the time we have on our hands. Some may not be quite there, but give it time. We are coming together in unforeseen and beautiful ways that did not require a top down approach. We did it all on our own and so have our children. And conversely we have also been shown some real weak spots in our societal systems that fail many of our friends, children and brothers.
This is just the beginning. The future is being created NOW. And if it is to be different, it cannot be predicated on what was. Shedding the skin of our collective consciousness that currently values profit over people, capitalism over community and consumption over conservation is vital for ushering in a new future for humanity. One that will be without borders, without enemies, fear, famine, scarcity and war. One where people and our humanity come first. We have been given a gift and it is all of our responsibilities to take advantage of it.
Seize your day,