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VIRAL LESSONS: WHAT COVID-19 Can Help Us Rethink

Gladly nestled in my rural cottage, I’ve had ample extra time this week for two of my favorite things: meditation (it’s better than just sitting around doing nothing) and contemplation about the state of our world. While dropping into this quietude, three preternatural revelations came to the fore as lessons we can take from the COVID-19 havoc.

#1: THE POWER OF OUR RIPPLE

If you’ve ever doubted whether you—as one person—can make an impact, you now have tangible evidence.

We’re seeing how the ripple effect of our respective handshakes, actions, words, and emotions can instantaneously be transmitted and disbursed.

This same power to proliferate can, of course, be used for purposes that serve our positive evolution and general wellbeing.

While fear is a potent emotion, it’s not our worst enemy. Our widespread demise would come more quickly through apathy, indifference. Lack of empathy leads to the degradation of the human spirit. Uncaring ways can literally ruin us, along with our home planet. It is already. What we may be finally experiencing is how caring can heal, cure and save us.

#2: THE CONTRARINESS OF COMMODITIZING WHAT’S NOT OURS

In less than one century—a smidgeon of humanity’s existence—we’ve become almost blasé about the idea of monetizing that which is given to us freely. Food and water. The sun’s rays and the earth’s minerals and fuels. Plants, animals, fish.

We’ve wrangled all of these natural resources and much more into our capitalist model, thereby making ourselves reliant on the system for even our most basic needs.

One example: No March madness this month; all sporting events and concerts canceled. But are we lamenting the lack of entertainment or the bank that it brings? I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do our part to spur the economy (that’s another subject for another day), but it seems an opportune time to reframe all this.

And don’t think Ma Nature, from whose font of abundance this all flows (well, maybe not the NBA), isn’t keeping tabs on the balance upsets and injustices. Kid you not, she holds the gavel. We could be completely obliterated in a minute—the vanity of achievement quickly wiped away, the results of our toil made history.  Mass extinction is not unprecedented on our planet. Just saying, more gratitude for and free sharing of our gifts might be in order.

#3: THE FUTILITY OF BORDERS

Dally as we may in our self-delusion, what this pandemic is showing us is that borders won’t ultimately save us. The notion of nation-states is a grandiose fictional story that enough of us tell ourselves to believe it’s true. But fact remains that you can’t slice off the air from one county to another.

Our world has become too small to not consider—just consider—a global constitution based on basic human rights, a different way of slicing the pie.

And as we get wiser, fewer are going to follow a world leader who says “me first.” Whether it fits your lifestyle and politics or not, we’re all in this together. As COVID-19 is teaching us, lack of solidarity and cooperation is becoming dangerous.

_____

I don’t have any answers, as I’m still living these questions, as you are. But this I know: True wisdom refuses all trite solutions that suggest either that we know it all or that we can know nothing. Dark times can grow us in ways we ordinarily wouldn’t dare, and this may be one of them.

Gina Mazza
Gina Mazzahttp://www.ginamazza.com/
Word provocateur | creative muse | author | book editor | publishing consultant | content writer | freelance journalist | creativity coach | poetess | intuitionist | conscious evolutionist | Everything Matters, Nothing Matters

25 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, challenging times can lead us to make the tiny changes from one moment to the next that we might not have even considered.

    And one tiny adjustment, repeated daily, becomes a ripple.

    A ripple that over time transforms the individual.

    Leading by example! That ripple’s potential helps others learn, improve and grow.

    Thanks Gina for your thoughtful share in challenging times.

    blessings,
    Cynthia

  2. I am of the opinion that the current pandemic will further divide the nations, not unite them. Humanity will not change and will never come together. Sad? Yes, and I can only hope that I am wrong.

  3. Gina, as I told you I had replied to your article but not only did you not find the answer but the same did not even appear to me. So I put the article on LinkedIn and I hope you could read it.
    Now I’m doing a test with Dennis to understand what happens because they tell me that everything works but I still can’t see my answers, the likes that I post.
    Let me know if you read this note of mine.

  4. Great inquiry Gina, and well spoken. Align with all you share, and have been especially conscious of this lately…

    “We’ve wrangled all of these natural resources and much more into our capitalist model, thereby making ourselves reliant on the system for even our most basic needs.”

    Wondering at the solution.

    I also appreciate your ending comment:

    I don’t have any answers, as I’m still living these questions, as you are. But this I know: True wisdom refuses all trite solutions that suggest either that we know it all or that we can know nothing. Dark times can grow us in ways we ordinarily wouldn’t dare, and this may be one of them.

    May it be so! Amen, sister!

    • Hey shining Sora! Thanks for your thoughtful commentary on this piece. I too learn towards ponderance around the solutions. All I know is that our challenges, these days, are only solve by working together. Much love to you and would love to stay in close touch.

  5. Gina, in these times of uncertaintiy as well as those that have reared their head in the past, this too shall pass, and my peace comes within my soul that nothing here on earth will ever deteure me from what I know in my soul to be the truth of my creator. Love your article.

  6. This is a great global tragedy, there is not even to discuss it. Yet through this traumatic collective experience we can also learn some useful things, which will indeed be fundamental for the future, indeed I would say close, challenges that we will have to face.
    First, we found ourselves deeply vulnerable for the first time. Not that before we did not feel, subjectively such, but the coronavirus has exposed the fragility of the whole human race which has strengthened the perception of being so individually as never before. The whole world is at risk, so we can no longer hide behind an illusion of stability. This perception of vulnerability is also very important with respect to the issue of climate change, because it is precisely from it that respect and care for the environment on which we depend is born.
    The virus has shown our structural global interconnection. There are no borders, there are no walls, there are no nations that hold. This discovery can be very terrifying, because people who are afraid and lack the right information tend to take refuge in nationalist movements with the conviction that they can escape the dangers. And at the same time it made it clear that solutions can only exist globally, only with agreements from all nations. Something tremendously difficult, as the climate negotiations show, and yet unavoidable. We really have to be one nation.
    As in all moments of collective crisis, fear feeds the greatest selfish reactions, the urge to empty the supermarket, to buy protections for themselves in the face of others. But the opposite is also true: a sense of global sharing is rediscovered, caused precisely by the fact that we are all in the same situation.
    We must take into account the interconnections with others – a very tiring thing for us because it puts us in front of the limit – yet when ever necessary and instructive.
    Still, the virus taught us what we shouldn’t do in the case of collective emergencies. That is to give in to uncontrolled panic, and perhaps even worse, to reverse our panic on social networks, in an infinite contagion. Contagion caused, as I said, also by the media, the first newspapers, which have not been able to maintain their sense of measure, rather they have thrown themselves on the virus, perhaps in the hope that the urgency would push people to buy copies. I hope, but I’m not sure, that they have finally understood the importance of talking about global problems and global emergencies, for example the climatic one, and to do it in the right way, because never as today the media are fundamental, in the era of disintermediation and the weakness of institutional political communication.
    Ultimately, this virus offers us a formidable occasion for individual and collective reflection. Privately, we should ask ourselves if our life, our choices are compatible with those of another seven billion people and the planet itself. That is, if we are leading sustainable lives, on an environmental, ethical, social level. We can no longer live wasting resources without even realizing it, or, also, traveling from one part of the globe to another without asking ourselves what impact our moving on environmental ecosystems has, but I would also say social, where we go. We really have to rethink everything and this rethinking can make us better people.
    Collectively, the virus also requires another reflection. We hope, but we are not sure, that politics has been forced to look up from private issues and hatreds, intolerable before and even more in times of emergency, has also understood that the challenges we face, and which concern our very survival, imply an overcoming of all myopic gaze, focused on one’s political survival and on the victory of the nearest elections. It is not a question of suspending democracy or invoking “states of exception” of sad remembrance. But surely the virus imposes a radical change of pace on all those who govern us, worldwide, national and local. Which is no longer even optional, given that at stake, I repeat, there is the same existence.
    In the coming months we will understand whether the coronavirus will have passed in vain, or not.

    • Aldo, I am in awe of how clearly and intelligently you have laid this out in your comment. I agree with eery word of it. I sure hope you share this as it’s own article, it’s worthy of many others reading, not just me. As I shared with Ken, above, I intuitively feel we are inside a crucible of reconstruction of a massive scale. Not saying it’s going to be comfortable, but we can either open the door or be shoved through it, our choice. Though we are in the throes of it now, this virus is a catalyst for our positive human evolution in ways that we may not be able to see at the moment. I pray we stay well and have the patience to sit tight and allow the pandemic to reveal what we have been needing to see for a long time now. I have also been channeling poetry around this topic, which I share freely on Instagram. If you are on Insta, you may resonate with it. Follow me at @ginamazza_poetry. Much love and gratitude to you for taking the time to write your thoughts to me here. Grazie mille.

      • Gina, you are a pleasant and interesting interlocutor, I follow you carefully.
        It is always empowering to engage with minded individuals and professionals who think outside the box, are willing to explore and eager to share their knowledge giving others with the opportunity to grow and expand their knowledge base.

        As for this difficult moment for the whole world, I am sorry to read some comments that seem to underestimate it, believing that it is an event similar to many other crises to be faced as normal.
        It is not like a war (I lived the last years of that period and the post-war period) where the enemy is physically identifiable. This virus is invisible, even people who are apparently well, are asymptomatic, can transmit it.
        So, take care of yourself.

        • Aldo, thank you and I’m enjoying our conversation here. I pray that you and everyone there stays well and gets through this. The medical workers, in particular, are in my prayers. Please stay in touch here, as I value your insights on what is happening in Italy and elsewhere. Please feel free to follow me on Facebook or on Instagram at @ginamazza_poetry. Take good care.

  7. Wise words, Gina. Thank you so much for offering them. Finding common ground in the what I cannot even imagine might be the “ground zero” of this virus does have the potential to transform many people from the inside out-most human beings want to live in safety, peace, and sufficiency. Nature remains a brilliant teacher.

    No tree hoards water. The sun does not say to all the plants, trees, flowers, animals, human beings “You owe me.” May we learn from nature about sustainability, sufficiency, balance and harmony. May we take time to go within to end the internal wars inside the soul, psyche, heart, and mind. May this be an opportunity for people to cultivate inner world peace and radiate this calm, gentle presence out into the world with care and compassion. All this is extremely uncomfortable-much like the liquid phase of metamorphosis-when the caterpillar becomes goo inside the cocoon -not tidy or comfy-very messy and uncomfortable-reshaping into a butterfly that must be strong enough to break its own cocoon of darkness to emerge into the light. Goo stage seems to be where we might be as a species.

    • Thank you for these insightful comments, Laura. Indeed, nature is a brilliant muse for how to fully live. Oh, I love everything you’ve expressed here! Yes, we’re in goo stage. I love that metaphor. In case you’re ever interested, I have a few amazing colleagues in Italy that teach online about the wisdom of the plant kingdom and how it relates to our work, relationships, etc. It’s truly incredible stuff. I think (from your words above) that you may like it. Many blessings and be well.

  8. Wonderful thoughts Gina. Wonderfully written too.

    It’s strange but when the MER and SAR viruses, well, all of them seemed to be blossoming one after another, for some reason, I wasn’t worried… is that just me? But there is something very ominous about this one… I guess because it has become pandemic.

    We can unite and overcome through the virtue of doing our part.

    • Laurie, thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. I agree with what you’re saying. There’s a deeper story emerging. Let’s pray that it’s serving our evolution is positive, life-affirming ways.

  9. You make some good points that are worth contemplation and even debate. However, I think it unlikely that the world will ever have a single government/state. Too many people will lose too much power for them to ever agree to that. We are not even willing to combine cities and their satellite suburban entities. We are not willing to combine counties or even states. Any and all of which would save billions of dollars in operating cost. If we are not willing to do what is so obvious to our benefit and in our own backyard it isn’t likely to happen on a grand scale.

    • Hi Ken, Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Intuitively, I feel we are inside a crucible of reconstruction of a massive scale. I agree with what you’re saying and, at the same time, am feeling that we will reach a point where we will have no choice but to change some of our ways. Not saying it’s going to be comfortable, but we can either open the door or be shoved through it, our choice. Though we are in the throes of it now, this virus is a catalyst for our positive human evolution in ways that we may not be able to see at the moment. I pray we stay well and have the patience to sit tight and allow the pandemic to reveal what we have been needing to see for a long time now.

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