Rebuilding our world, rebuilding a new way, a different way, a better way is the task ahead, for our ourselves, our nation, and the world at large. I am not talking about politics as many people are. (Not that I don’t.) I am talking about our personal, inner worlds, our own, our family’s, that of our collective communities of extended family and of friends, and the people with whom we work and learn and play. Without forgetting that this is a frightening and stressful time, more for some than for others, I believe that in our time at home, and between us in social media communication, there is a bond being forged as a result of shared insight. We are learning that we can live better, more mindfully, and with greater empathy and grasp of what is important than we ever have before. Blended into an even broader network of other people, I hope we will be inspired to rebuild our world into a place of grace, compassion and gratitude.
Unless, that is, unless we forget what we learned. Unless we allow ourselves to be yanked out of our shelter and back into a hornets’ nest of modern life, all whirling and buzzing into our mind and body space, with no plan to conserve and reserve our energies for what is actually important. For most people, the pre-Covid world was driven by a frenzy of places to go and things to do, that were in addition to long work or school hours. Some people are realizing that not every busy thing we did was equally important. And everything we do has an opportunity-cost in terms of time that we can now stop and tally. Perhaps there are better ways to spend what discretionary time we have. Perhaps time at home has revealed what some of those things might be. I would love to hear your thoughts about this idea.
When we cross the threshold of our home sanctuary, I hope we can find a way to heed our renewed and strengthened inner voice. The truth and insight whispered in the relative quiet is worth remembering. It tells us to abandon what is extraneous and focus on what is of consequence - to look up and celebrate our loved ones in real time and the beautiful sky and earth and growing things around us. It tells us to concern ourselves with the wellbeing of as many people as we can, however we believe we can do that. It tells us that we don’t need as much stuff as we thought we did. Often getting stuff was just another form of busy in the days before the pandemic. It tells us to stop a moment and refresh ourselves, however we best do that, so that we can address things of moment in our lives once we cross the threshold to our shared spaces again. We must ask, “What is it that we value?”
Everything is new right now, for those of us in quarantine, and in our isolation, reflection is inescapable. I have to believe that although we sometimes feel frightened, and we sometimes feel alienated, or, conversely, too close within the confines of our homes or close neighborhood, there is an opportunity to change our defaults. Circumstances right now give us opportunity to think about the good things that we have discovered during this time. Our appreciation for what we have now, what we had before, and what we look forward to again, are likely in our minds. We also contemplated what we look forward to doing differently in the future when we can go out and about freely once more. I would like to think that we all can bring new wisdom into our communities with us as we venture forth.
See Part II: Rebuilding 2020 next week.