IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES —
“It was the best of times.
“It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
Sounds pretty timely and accurate to me.
This is from the pen of one of those other brilliant writers named Charles, Charles Dickens, and he was telling his Tale of Two Cities, London and Paris, just before the French and American revolutions, trying to predict sudden transformation.
Which is not unheard of in human history. In the midst of this economic and medical maelstrom gathering such power and scope, this may be such a moment. Not this time from violent revolution, hopefully, we’ve got enough trouble, but through collective consciousness and new understanding, because of a sudden, surprise cataclysm. And the changes it may bring that can’t help but open our eyes, minds and souls.
BUT, BEST OF TIMES?
That’s crazy. We’re about to go over the cliff. How do you possibly figure?
Not “best,” really, but most valuable, most precious, unprecedented, if we choose that. A global threat potentially so large, so devastating, destroying lives, nations and economic systems with complete disregard, that it could change our global culture, our ways of regarding all our previous deepest-held values and practices. And bad habits.
IN TERRIBLY PAINFUL WAYS
But with such enormity that we may step back as we emerge from the worst of it (and that will not be in a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months, as some would have you believe) and look around to see, amidst the heartbreaking endless graves and lost futures — blue skies and clean water, almost no traffic, no war, no hunger, no borders, no prejudice, and a sense of worldwide community as palpable as the great losses.
But in this early stage of great fear and uncertainty, even before we are pushed toward the frightful unknown, looking desperately for guidance, assurance and truth, already the ugly dark nature of man, through the tool of politics, is looking to exploit nearly-unprecedented potential for human suffering, for even greater riches for the privileged and powerful.
BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS
You will probably know what the final bill from Congress for relief looks like. Last I saw it was crumbs for the working folk and small businesses, and hundreds of billions for large industries whose corporations have a history of using government bailout money for stock buybacks and obscene executive compensation, even firing workers and moving operations to cheaper foreign sites with that money.
But if that happens, maybe it will be part of the drama that lifts the curtain, once and for all. Often we have to hit rock bottom before we can turn over and see the light pouring down, all around us.
So perhaps, through this immense tragedy looming, the time will soon come to finally take control of our destinies. This could be the opportune moment. But it won’t be easy. Political power and money don’t just talk, they can beat the crap out of you. But it could make this not only a moment of history for our times, but a marker for the history of the human race. When we finally, collectively, understood that we the billions have the power and the rights, not the few with billions. This is our world. Such a colossal shift is dependent on overwhelming numbers, unity, consciousness. But the door is opening.
I’d been thinking along these lines — we all have lots of time to think now, don’t we? — and then I came across something by a Canadian doctor turned spiritual healer, and since it speaks so much more eloquently than I have, I offer it for your consideration.
by Gurpreet K. Gill
There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19. And, what if…
If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…
That all is interconnected.
What if… the virus is here to help us? To reset. To remember. What is truly important. Reconnecting with family and community. Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break. Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.
Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time). Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.
An invitation to turn inwards — a deep meditation — rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe. To reconnect with self — what is really important to me?
A reset economically. The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave. How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work? To face our mortality — check back into “living” life rather than simply working, working, working.
To reconnect with our elders, who are so susceptible to this virus. And, washing our hands — how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.
The presence of Grace for all. There is a shift underway in our society — what if it is one that is favorable for us? What if this virus is an ally in our evolution? In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful, more kind to our environment.
An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution. It was time for a change, we all knew that. And, change has arrived. What if…
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 34 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org