What if this situation would last for ever? What if, for whichever reason, I have to stay home for the rest of my life?
What would I do?
I see two big reasons for my struggle these days. The first is that I remember all the wonder there outside, the good old days. Also known as the Past. The second is my expectation of the day I’ll be out, all the things I will do. Also known as the Future. In both cases, living in the Past or in the Future is always a mistake.
What if I didn’t know the Past, all that is out there, and couldn’t imagine the Future, in that thing I don’t know? Scary, right?
Will I recover my rights? Rights? What rights? Does Nature understand anything about rights? Do I deserve rights as a human being after all my efforts and resilience? The answer is clearly NO.
At the end of the day, no matter what I feel or think. Things simply happen. People are strong and can adapt, find new ways, and get the most of any situation. There are so many examples in our history. A friend of mine, one of the doctors fighting in the front-line was telling me it had became a routine. All that she’s been living in the last month is so far from what she could consider normal or acceptable. But it is what she had to cope with, obliging to show up every single day, and it became her routine. Her “new normal”.
What if this crisis is the first of many others of the same kind? Some predict the impact of climate change will have far worse consequences. Let’s learn from what we are living now and get prepared for the next one, individually and in our communities. What if I’m told every year to stay home for two months? What would I do differently? No doubt. I’d better prepare. I’d better learn. I’d better grow. These are for now first takeaways from this crisis:
Whether I’m aware or not, all my actions have consequences. These can be direct or indirect. These can be invisible to me. What is clear is that I, or my loved ones, or my communities, will see the consequence one day, whether positive or negative.
My actions are my only true belongings: I cannot escape their consequences. My actions are the ground on which I stand.Thich Nhat Hanh
One of the main reasons of the quick spread of the virus is that people were not aware, with no symptoms. Experts call it “silent transmission” or “silent spreading”. They were simply not aware. Maybe I am one of them. This is not because I don’t know that I am not responsible. It’s my responsibility to be aware, to learn how to live better, to be a better human. In ultimate instance, that means being one with all that’s around.
It is not because I’m young and healthy that I must stay home and take measures. It is because I am a threat to others.
It is not because I can afford something that I have to buy it and generate waste, impacting our ecosystems. It is because I am a threat to my environment.
If I keep looking only at me in my decisions and actions and ignoring the world around me, people and Nature, that can only lead to a disaster. This is what we are heading towards.
This virus is our enemy. An invisible enemy who reminds us that our actions have consequences. Nature is not our enemy. Nature is here to show us the way to grow as persons, as communities, as societies. Life on Earth is a game we play together, one with Nature. Nature is visible, is part of us. Consequences are visible. What else do we need?
What if I learn?