For over three weeks now, the only people I’ve seen in person are my partner and folks at the grocery store. The recession in the US is now official news, and the coronavirus pandemic is changing everything, forever. Or is it? People suffering from illness and dying is not news, that is part of life. What is news is that so many people are suffering from illness at the same time, so many are not getting proper care – care that could and should be available to them – and so many are dying.
Because this is literally happening everywhere on Earth at the same time, those of us that have been predicting, and working and praying for the end of the global political and economic system as we know it could not be more excited – and more terrified. This is what I know: I know that the way we are structured and organized as a species is a fucking travesty of justice, I know that economic inequality the way it is at the moment is certainly unsustainable, and that most democratic nations are not serving their citizens in the most basic of ways. Not to mention the “externality” of all this that is climate change and ecosystem collapse. And that this all must and will end. No doubt.
What I don’t know exactly is how long it will take, how much pain will be part of the price to pay for the transition, and what we will emerge with on the other side of it. I think that it really doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as we get there, that there is an unspeakable amount of pain already that seems completely acceptable to the status quo, and that what will emerge on the other side of it…well, that’s what excites me and terrifies me.
On the exciting part: new ways of organizing ourselves, local and sustainable economies, prioritizing human rights, reconnecting with our true human nature, loving Nature as much as she loves us, participatory governments that are really Public Servants, hooray!
On the terrifying part: autocratic corporate rule that is simply the next tragic step on the trajectory we are already on. I’m not even gonna feed this one by painting the picture, I think you get it and I’ll leave it at that.
I am hoping, and planning on, this pandemic being the very first wave of our transition towards true transformation. No lasting change is an event, it’s always a process, and so I don’t expect us all to come out of this to a new world order. But I am also pretty clear that there may not be a “normal” to go back to, which is fantastic because unless we are forced to create something new and better, human tendency is always inertia: defaulting to where we already were. When there is no back to go to, when we have burnt all our bridges, when we are really at the end of our collective rope, that is where the magic happens. Because Life wants to Live, because change is the only constant, because energy makes pendulums swing, I believe that we have what it takes to try something different, to transition and transform into something else.
And being present to that is my life’s work. What is yours?