There are things that are within our ability, reach and resources to change, and then there are other things that are clearly and effectively beyond our control. We are at a point where both of those things have never been truer, at least within these contemporary times. Our entire nation, with the exception of a handful of states, has functionally shut down. In fact, the entire world community is presently experiencing a global pandemic that has most of the world’s population firmly within its grip, sickening over a million and killing over one hundred thousand people. All the while, it has infected the entire world’s economic markets. By all rational accounts, we will never be able to go back to the way things were prior to the invasion of the coronavirus. This means we will all have to change our “ways of being” and perhaps how we operate on every level of human interaction.
An unintended consequence of people all over the world staying at home, working from home, closing down all public spaces where people congregate in large groups, and limiting all non-essential travel is that the eco-system is rapidly improving. Landscapes and mountaintops, formerly hidden by smog and polluted air, have come into view all over the world; the rivers, seas and oceans are clearing because the level of man-made fossil fuel pollutants that we daily emit into the air, land and seas have been drastically reduced. Because most people are following the directives given by state and municipal leaders to stay at home and save lives, Mother Earth is enjoying some peace and quiet in the cities, counties and rural spaces throughout the world.
Your homes – whether large or small – have become your sanctuary, your place of both peace and chaos, depending on how many people are hunkered down there with you. Communities have had to step up and take care of those who have no homes to shelter in and because most businesses, designated as non-essential, have been closed, many people are struggling financially due to lack of work. Community kitchens, food banks and faith-based initiatives have had to rise to meet the challenges of caring for people’s basic needs, while making the necessary changes to protect the health and safety of both the workers and volunteers but also keeping those who are in need and their families safe too. America has not had to deal with this kind of national disaster within the lifetime of most of us now living in this country. Schools and universities all over our nation have been shut down, and the teaching and learning is happening online and at home. Things have changed. Things have changed exponentially. And we are all asking, where do we go from here?
Our heroic medical professionals, healthcare providers, first responders, grocery store workers, truckers and all essential frontline workers have been taxed beyond their physical and emotional capacity to deal with the crisis and yet they carry on, sacrificing, sometimes to the point of being sickened by the very virus they are fighting against. Many have even given their lives. If we pretend that we can move forward as if we have only been on a brief pause, we are doomed to repeat this horrible and disruptive experience again and again. And it will be worse each and every time we do.
CHANGE is something we must do! Science will catch up to this virus, eventually, but we can be assured that it will take some time. We must support the efforts of our scientific researchers, doctors and medical professionals to eradicate this pandemic and prepare ourselves with much more intentional and fervent determination to be better prepared when the next deadly virus comes knocking! Because it inevitably will come. To Change or not to change is definitely NOT the question. Change has come upon us and if we do not recognize that CHANGE, one day we will ultimately meet it face to face or die trying to escape it!