May we speak and walk with our minds intentionally and carefully in these times:
People in third world countries are being directly affected by this virus—tourism halted, restaurants closed. People who live hand-to-mouth are dying, today, this minute. Right now.
Sure, there is disease and death every day, but this is a new wave. A new wave—and while we freak out about not being able to go outside and touch nature, a man in India yesterday watched his child die of hunger.
While we are complaining about not being able to go surfing, a family in Guatemala carefully measures the rice they have.
Yes—collectively this is good for us. There are many gifts found in this chaos. The earth needed this. We needed this. We have been living unsustainably in a consumeristic manner. We have been buying things we don’t need. We have been so individualized and yet so disconnected from ourselves and one another. We’ve sat in rooms with our parents and grandparents, and with our faces in our phones, those sacred to us age and wither. We are anxious, depressed, and suicidal because we are so far away from the medicine of nature, the medicine of this land, the medicine of one another. We have polluted our earth and thought that we are gods, untouchable in our privilege—and now our mortality is here. Our fragility is here. Our vulnerability is here—the vulnerability people in third world countries face every single day that we close our eyes and ears to.
This is a great earthquake and wake-up call for first world countries, and within that are oceans of compassion and rivers of empathy for the fact that people are starving to death in third world countries because of the virus.
They don’t get a $1,200 United States paycheque or government assistance. They don’t get their rent waived.
They aren’t complaining about their favourite yoga studios and coffee shops being closed.
They aren’t FaceTiming their families across the world—some of them don’t even have the means to have a cell phone.
Yes—let’s talk big picture together.
The education system has been broken for a long time. We need to be teaching self-regulating practices, emotional intelligence, meditation. This should have been reinvented a long time ago. Western medicine has been broken for a long time. We live in debt. We do not know how to grow our food—we are disconnected from the land.
We have been broken, and so have the systems we built—and for a long time.
This is a wake-up call for how deeply we need the knowledge and medicine—that we have forgotten and ignored—from our indigenous communities.
This is a wake-up call for what we actually need.
Let’s not forget that right now, while we have the privilege of philosophizing about what this means for the collective, someone is starving to death.
The expense of this collective realization is affecting some of us much deeper—many of whom are not being covered on the news. Because seemingly only first world countries deserve to be covered and informed on.
So yes, let’s sit and talk about how our world has been sick and has always been broken, but let’s not diminish the reality of immense suffering that exists in parts of our world for those who do not have the privilege to not work. Who do not have the privilege to sit under a tree by a river in the sunshine and hypothesize on what this means for our world and global collective.
Right now, someone is starving to death because this virus has impacted the world they live in.
We need big picture and we need the ability to swim to the bottom depths of our heart in compassion, understanding, and empathy.
It is not just one.