This virus has shaken things up.
And it’s given me a chance to take a fresh look at my values. I’m not interested in things anymore.
I’m wanting deep friendships, the chance to express myself, to be seen and appreciated, and to behold other souls.
And I’ve found that when my values change, the way I think about the future changes too. The values inform me as I draw a new template for what I’d like my life to be like. They are the seeds that fuel my passion and my passion is the paintbrush for my vision of my ideal world.
I never used to give community much thought. Now I have a longing to cultivate or find a community where we are all looking after one another.
Could it be that this virus has brought with it a gift?
A chance for us to notice that the world we lived in doesn’t have to be the world we continue in—to open our eyes to an array of possibilities for us as individuals and as a collective?
We can ask ourselves, “Do I really value all these possessions?”
Some of us will hear ourselves respond, “Hmm, I think I really do value bonding and relationships more.”
Many of us may find ourselves more willing to give things up than ever before. We may feel like we are less identified with our stuff, less possessed by them. And maybe less possessed by our titles and money as well. One example of this may be in the stories of Jesus and finding themselves less possessed by things—for Jesus told a young man to give up his possessions when he asked Jesus to let him be a follower.
If we shift away from prioritizing the acquisition of new things (and if this becomes commonplace), we may find that we are easily and naturally letting go of the old normal and creating a new normal.
This will gradually lead to the creation of a society, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
All buildings begin with a blueprint of the foundation followed by the foundation.
Whether we are building a new society or simply building a new foundation for our personal worlds, values inform the blueprint:
What values have risen to the top of your list?
What no longer holds so much importance?
For some of us, being right about this issue is of little importance. Tapping into the well-spring of joy has become more important. For many, well-being on all levels has become prized more so than a job title or a big bank account. Some of us are envisioning a world of communities characterized by caring for one another, harmony, well-being, and bonding.
The era of consumerism might be fading away. Something else will replace it. What’s exciting is this: we get to decide.
Will the old normal for schools transition to a new system where children are mentored by elders, grandparents with grandkids?
This is just one of many possibilities that could play out. The education could be more about a sharing of wisdom—what worked and what didn’t work. It might not answer the need for what is required to become a doctor. But it might be excellent for those wanting to serve.
Will the old normal for government transition to a new system where groups or clusters of people are charged with serving in the executive office rather than a President and Vice President?
The building of the new world won’t happen overnight. And that’s a good thing. The foundation needs to be deep and strong. Let’s wait until the foundation can support the new structure.
But it’s not too early for us to start living from our new values if we are gaining clarity around them.
The good news is this: we can make quality time for bonding and relationships more of a priority in our lives.
We can look for communities in our neighborhood to join. We can start collaborating with those in our neighborhood in new ways. We can start a garden in our backyard and invite the neighbors to help with the gardening and have community potlucks in our homes.
The good news is this: we can make a firm and steady commitment to do what is required to look after our own well-being.
For some of us, starting the day with meditation and prayer may be key. For others, exercise and movement may be primary. For all of us, staying away from food that depletes our energy, like sugar, and fueling ourselves with a balanced combo of sustaining, energizing foods can help.
The good news is this: we can support local food providers by going to farmer’s markets instead of buying food that has been in a truck for a long trip to our part of the country.
We can be part of a new movement for valuing local food. These are just a few possibilities that wait for us. The promise of the future has many possibilities waiting for us to discover and try out.
Some of the possibilities may surprise us.
What have I learned from the virus? That things don’t have to stay the way they’ve always been.
That many pathways wait before us and we can choose which pathways to explore.