WHAT DO YOU SEE IN OUR FUTURE?
“I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightness. I do not judge the universe.” – Dalai Lama
So, what is it we can hope for on a day that seems very dark indeed? It is interesting that this modern day plague has come upon us at this time. This is Easter week for Christians around the world. Passover for the Jewish faith starts this week as well. The holy time of Ramadan starts in a short time for Muslims. All of these traditions are about taking time for reflection, rededication to faith and rebirth. The Christian faith in particular celebrates the process and promise of death overcome by resurrection. It is a “rising up” that reveals a new consciousness – an evolution of Spirit.
Consider what has transpired in but a few days. The engines of business and commerce have slowed to an idle. Instead of “doing” being our focus, “not doing” has become our hopeful salvation. Will this be forever? On course not but what can we learn from this forced “pause” in our lives?
I spoke with a friend who lives in Los Angeles a few days ago. The main thing he noted about how his city was being affected was that he had not seen the air so clear and fresh in years. Taking a walk he found new life thriving. Springtime always brings a burst of new life but with fresher air and the decrease in human activity it could flourish even more. All over the world the reduction of human activity has produced encouraging restorations.
Hong Kong (CNN)
Factories were shuttered and streets were cleared across China’s Hubei province as authorities ordered residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
It seems the lockdown had an unintended benefit — blue skies.
The average number of “good quality air days” increased 21.5% in February, compared to the same period last year, according to China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
And Hubei wasn’t alone.
Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions — those released by vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities — in major Chinese cities between January and February. The visible cloud of toxic gas hanging over industrial powerhouses almost disappeared.
From the onetreeplanted.org website:
Working From Home Means Fewer Carbon Emissions
Now more than ever companies are realizing that their business can stay afloat by allowing their employees to work from home in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. A major plus to working from home is that it is good for the environment! Decreasing carbon emissions alone from the daily commute significantly improves air quality. According to The Climate Group, working from home has the potential to reduce over 300 MILLION tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Not to mention all the other awesome benefits such as work/life balance and decreased traffic congestion.
From clearer water in Venice – with dolphins even seen swimming in the city’s famous canals – to blue skies in Beijing where poor air quality is seen to be responsible for thousands of non-virus related deaths each year. The benefits are obvious but it will be soon all forgotten unless we can learn from the lesson that Mother Nature has forced on us. Can we take the challenge to our well-being as the opportunity it clearly makes evident?
Fortunately we are not experiencing an ecological development from which it could take generations for us to restore “normal” life. We will have our lifestyle options returned to us most probably in the near future as we develop our ability to control the infection. The most important question is whether we will learn from this experience and recognize the turning point we are at.
From a religious and Spiritual point of view this has always been a time of reflection and renewal. This year we have been given more reason to do some deeper consideration and an appraisal of what kind of future we want. Yes, I know that most all of us are just praying that our lives will return to normal. We want to vanquish the fears about everyone’s health and concerns about our own financial stability. We are desperate to restore our freedom and independence. Very few of us want to feel dependent on others for our well-being. However, if nothing else this experience is teaching all but the most arrogant among us just how dependent upon each other we are. This view is symptomatic of the backwards thinking that pervades our individualist society.
What do I mean by this? Our “social” organizations are mostly focused on “getting”. The inverse of this is a social organization based on “giving”. Many people today believe they are very giving. Many are. Some give as a “tithe” which is like paying a fee for personal prosperity. Others simply realize that sharing some of their abundance feels good and makes the world a better place by reducing someone else’s misery. While it is usually not the intent of the giver, those that are on the receiving end are often made to feel diminished and less respected as human beings because of their failure to take care of themselves. Particularly for someone who has been one of the “successful” members of society, there is often a sense of shame and defeat that comes with the change in fortune that a natural disaster or a virus like we are experiencing results in. Even with a massive effort by government to restore normalcy to our lives it is quite possible the world will never be like what it was a few weeks ago.
That can be a scary thought if you are not willing to take the attitude that “our future unfolds with hope and joy”. One of the most valuable traits of the human species is found in our ability to adapt to whatever reality we find ourselves in and use our imagination and vision to find new paths into our future. I believe what we are currently experiencing is the symptom of flaws in the current structure and a clear indication that is time to reinvent ourselves and the way we live on this planet.
A time of transformation and rebirth? Is that the door that has opened for us?
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN OUR FUTURE? (or what would you like to see in our future?) Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org