Sometimes I wonder if the Source, or whatever name you use (the energy of life, God, the I AM, the unmanifested one, the universal consciousness, Mother Earth) has created the Coronavirus to give us human beings the opportunity to recognize our interconnectedness and interdependence. Or our “interbeing,” as the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, would say.
If you follow the emergence, re-emergence, first, second and third waves of COVID-19 around the world, you will notice that as soon as we humans begin to let down our guard, we experience another outbreak. When we put individual desires and wills ahead of the common good, we start down the path of another “surge.”
The refusal to wear a mask because it is “my right” to choose whether or not I do, puts those around you in danger. The need to “open up” as fast as possible for the sake of the economy (this all-important economy in which the rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer) precipitates another surge in COVID cases. The refusal to be vaccinated sets us all back on the road to “herd immunity.” The current competition for vaccines worldwide and the disparities in vaccination rates in rich and developing countries flies in the face of the truth that none of us will be safe until all of us are safe—from anything.
The Coronavirus goes on, mutating, developing new strains, dodging, and eluding all our attempts to beat it back. Should we ultimately succeed in defeating COVID, when will the next pandemic strike? What will the subsequent super infectious disease be? And the next?
Could the lesson we are avoiding be—everything is entirely dependent and interdependent? Huge disparities in health, wealth, and resources only create instability that ultimately undermines everyone’s safety, security, well-being, and perhaps even our continued existence.
(See also: I Dream a World, COVID Sacrifice, Cleansing or Transforming?)
3 thoughts on “Repeating Myself”
Repeating yourself or not, it needs to be said and you said it well. Whether or not God created it to teach us or it is simply a result of selfishness that will only be resolved by learning and practicing unselfishness is a matter of one’s theological perspective. But that hardly matters if we do not learn and change our ways.
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I read your post. Wonderful. It’s sad that so many influential people refuse to connect the dots when the “inter-dot relationship” is so blindingly obvious.
Evolution happens—it always has and it always will—whether or not certain politicians, preachers, and other opinion leaders will admit it or not. Through Earth’s long history, nature has always found a way to knock down any species that becomes too numerous; numerous to a degree that threatens the balance of an ecosystem. Of course, other random events will do the same thing, like supervolcanoes and asteroid or comet strikes. They are also part of the universe’s natural systems.
But our species has had many opportunities to learn the lessons that COVID is trying to teach us yet again. Scientists, ecologists, environmentalists (and John Lennon, too!) have all been trying for years to get the world to embrace the lessons that we are all connected and every living being is interdependent with every other living being.
It’s painful to watch. The selfishness. The greedy nationalism, the racism, the hate, the “other-ism” that divides our single human race into warring factions driven by local self-interest. So much in the world is driven by fear and ignorance. It’s discouraging.
Capitalism has its place. Socialism has its place. Even communism has certain aspects that are commendable. Democracy seems to be the best available option, but like political systems everywhere, it is prone to corruption. The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other, and rarely settles in the middle before it is once again hammered off to one side or the other.
This is the dreadful definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and over, and expecting to get different results. Case in point: Ontario, Canada. Human history is, of course, full of non-COVID examples of this insanity. The last couple hundred years are also full of cases where a few brilliant people have made and/or promoted and implemented discoveries and policies that have saved the human race from itself (vaccines, public health, water and sewage systems, etc.). Can we pull another rabbit out of the hat this time? The next time? The time after that?
It’s the same dreary story all over again, just on a really big scale this time. There are people without the benefit of a good education. There are willfully ignorant people. There are people who prefer not to think for themselves because it’s too hard and too disturbing. They prefer to follow others. Sadly, the world is full of snake oil salesmen willing to take such people for all they’re worth. I remain endlessly astounded and appalled by the degree to which people slavishly follow paranormal beliefs, pseudoscience (to be polite), and crazy conspiracy theories. It makes me want to scream.
So here we are. Raping and murdering our planet and ourselves. It makes not one bit of sense. But we keep on keepin’ on with it. As one wag said, we get the planet we deserve. So far, the herculean efforts of some have worked to save the many. But even with that, we are getting ever closer to an evolutionary edge. If we, as a species, go over that edge, the planet will be just fine without us. Life will go on and balance will be restored. We just won’t be here to see it.
But there is hope. Birthrates are declining significantly, driven by the economy and increasing education levels among girls and women, and are being helped along by the pandemic. Hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment are leading to lowered male fertility and other effects that can negatively affect human reproductive success. The demographers’ aptly-named “Great Dying” of the Boomers has begun. The human population growth curve should turn over by about 2050. I am unlikely to see that happen, but my children will see it. Therein, along with education, science, research, and far-reaching social consciousness, lies our hope for the future.
ML Whitehorne, FRASC
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