Editor’s Note: This letter is has been crafted from a tapestry woven by folks who have graced us with their presence on our weekly Friendship Bench gathering. We are grateful for their wisdom shared, and invite you to “take a seat on our Bench” alongside so many kindred spirits.
Life right now is like a Hollywood movie gone wrong. Nobody could have predicted that the world would go from normal to crazy in the matter of a few months. Streets are empty. Workplaces have become morbid to the few who insist on attending. The news has been replaced with 24/7 coverage of the virus. You don’t have to look for fear anymore: it’s everywhere you look.
Humans have been faced with two choices:
- Become entirely selfish and focus on survival.
- Look after yourself while looking after others.
This letter is designed to make you consider option two.
From Mark O’Brien:
When this is over, I’d like you to be a little more present in all of us. We may not have lost you along the way, but we’ve definitely let our connections to you and to each other slip a little. The virus has given us the time to meaningfully connect again. But we need your help to do it. If each of us can find just a little more of you in us, we’ll also find a way to find the sense of community that eluded us during the long, pre-virus period of The Great Distraction.
From Paula Goodman:
After this is over … What will happen next? … Does it make a difference … If no lesson here did fix? … So if I were to say … And address Humanity … After this is over … Did I become a better me?
From Char Murphy
We have re-written the movie. Our eyes and hearts have been opened. Opened to the knowing of our Oneness with each other and the all that is. A new vision for the highest and best for humanity. No one excluded as before. In the grim aftermath, we discover the pandemic we created, was not a “virus“, but a product of our minds and false thinking and believing in an outdated system of exclusivity and judgment. A system where only the most favored, the strongest survived. The new re-written movie is finally about love, sharing, kindness and compassion for everyone, where we are all truly equal and valued. No one is left behind. Indeed, heaven on earth.
From Bonnie McLean:
I believe we have all gotten sucked up in the profit motive lifestyle that seems to run the U.S. and has influenced the rest of the world. One thing this pandemic has done is to throw us out of this paradigm and make us re-evaluate how we have been living. I, for one, will not be going back to the hectic schedule I have been keeping for so many years. I had forgotten that the flow of the waves cannot exist without the ebbs. This video says it all much better than I could ⤵︎
From Catherine Fitzgerald:
These are the 12 things I will do, think, and feel when this is over:
- When this period of shelter in place is over, I will not take for granted the freedoms that allow me to choose where I go, what I do, and with whom I spend my time.
- When this is over, I will grieve the loss of so many lives to this virus.
- When this is over, I will continue the practice of daily self-care because it is the positive fruit of being present to myself for this time.
- When this is over, as I look back, I will give thanks for the gift of having two of my three grown sons move back “home” for one last time in their lives. I will cherish the memories we are making.
- When this is over, I will still be grateful and present each day while practicing acceptance of the changes that have altered our lives forever.
- When this is over, I will hug my 84-year-old mother.
- When this is over, I will realize that there are many positives that I have enjoyed in this time. Things that would not have happened if things had stayed the same, because the world was too busy building walls to seal others out.
- When this is over, I will be grateful for the new friends I have met through Zoom and for the deep sharing that was made possible because of our shared plight.
- When this is over, I will drive 3 hours to the beach, dig my toes in the sand, look up at the surf, and be grateful that I am able to enjoy the ocean again.
- When this is over, I will enjoy cooking for all those I call my chosen family and we will celebrate the gift of life we are able to share.
- When this is over, I will travel to see the world, appreciating the gifts of creation, the wonder of nature, other cultures, and celebrate the gifts of our diversity.
- When this is over, I will give thanks for the world-wide reset that has allowed us to get reconnected as human beings first and foremost.
Conclusion by @Team 360°:
This virus is a way to unite humanity. This virus has shown us just how powerful hope can be. Hope is seeing the world return to normal as it did after two World Wars and The Great Depression. Hope is showing those who haven’t lived through a crisis like this before, stories of humans winning and overcoming adversity.
What Will Be the Outcome of All This?
Many are wondering what exactly will come out of this crisis and whether we will really change our ways. Will we learn the lessons or go back to the way we were before—our unhealthy ‘normality’? This is yet to be seen. However, as individuals, we can make our own choices, and it is our individual choice that will make all the difference.
Let us learn from this situation and do what we can to preserve nature, to bring more stillness into our lives, and to never take people or our health and safety for granted again. As always, individual change and transformation will always triumph.
Maybe having us work together to solve this issue is the exact perfect storm we needed to end racism, promote love, and bring us together.
Every one of us is making a choice right now: Will we rise up?
Mark, Paula, Char, Catherine, Bonnie & @Team 360°