Post-COVID-19 outlook: Grim or proper?
“As a Buddhist, I believe in the principle of impermanence. Eventually, this virus will pass, as I have seen wars and other terrible threats pass in my lifetime, and we will have the opportunity to rebuild our global community as we have done many times before. I sincerely hope that everyone can stay safe and stay calm. At this time of uncertainty, it is important that we do not lose hope and confidence in the constructive efforts so many are making.” ~Dalai Lama
These words are inspiring to me not only because I share the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence but also because I believe moving forward with hope and optimism is important to successfully navigating the uncertainty we are in.
The irony is that I was basically a pessimist when I was a kid. When I read my writing from middle school (thanks for saving that stuff Mom! Geesh…), I’m struck with how little I thought of the future world I’d find myself in today.
At the time, I would chalk it up to hormonal angst and existential crisis seeking freedom from not only boredom, but also that trapped feeling of living into an almost certain future that I did not like. The idea I’m getting at here is captured well in the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) for those that need a(nother) movie pick to get through COVID-19 quarantine.
Despite the odds, we need to move forward.
Indeed, to effectively change the odds we need to take action. At any moment in time, we can draw a logical cause and effect line to a dismal future. But we can also do that same exercise, with slightly different inputs, and arrive at a positive future. The difference is in how we act and the decisions we make leading up to that point in time. That’s why I am constantly asking people what they are going to do about it. Essentially, I’m asking “will you choose love?”
I say, ignore the forecasters!
While there are many people that using this as an opportunity to predict the future, many of us have our heads down and are already getting to work. What will the new environment be like? Who do we want to support and be supported by? Who can we trust to have our best interests in mind? Who will we play the next round of this game with?
Listen, we can fall back into our old patterns and live in the same world we did yesterday, which will almost certainly result (see what I did there?) in another pandemic experience. OR we can make different choices. We can choose to live in alignment with the Will of Nature, which is balance, and the Will of God, which is unity. Through these choices, we will discover peace and love.
I wouldn’t be a process of discovery if we knew for sure what would happen, it would instead be an almost certain future. Which road will you choose?