I could not imagine a more ruthless way to reset the human condition – on every level – than a pandemic. We’re in collective shock at the refashioning of our way of life. We’ve had to adapt to new protocols for touching, congregating, cleaning, debt payment, shopping, helping, isolation.
Nature has sent us all to our rooms (literally) to ruminate about what we have done – or not done – for our world. All of us together have a unique opportunity to re-think EVERYTHING. To EVOLVE.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) notes improvements in air quality in China and Italy, because so few vehicles are on the road and in the skies. The pattern may repeat in the wake of country lockdowns. But, the WMO emphasizes, these improvements do not get us off the hook for committed action on climate change.
The Secretary General of UN called for a global cease fire, a halt to nine major wars, seventeen minor wars, and nineteen “skirmishes” that afflict millions of people. Could we help peace hold indefinitely, even when supply lines become stable again? Could the weapons economy be redirected into the health of our children and planning for future pandemics?
Will we learn to follow intelligent rules for civic behavior in crisis situations, knowing that each of us has a responsibility to all of us.
Can we think again and deeply about reining in our consumer ways, not gobbling up resources but spreading our wealth to those that suffer intractable poverty?
Will corporations extend their current crisis-inspired largesse to ongoing funding that solves pressing problems in their communities?
Will communities of faith shelter and serve the homeless where governments have not – until everyone has a home?
Can we empty prisons with a better solutions?
The pandemic is the most dramatic ‘pause’ we have ever confronted. Will we use the time to make hard-learned lessons stick? Will we inject new energy into tattered dreams of a peaceful prosperous future for everyone?
Many of us now have the time to re-imagine our world as a place inhabited with grace, intelligence, and compassion.
That ought to become a new definition of heroism.