By Patricia Biondo
Interesting that Corona has come up during Lent, the traditional time to give up luxuries, to go on retreat and to reflect upon our lives. When Corona confronts us with possible loss, can we become more aware of what we love and what we value? We know that when we leave this earth, we take nothing with us, not our wealth nor our status nor our accomplishments. So what is it that makes our lives have lasting value?
You may have heard the famous quote by Wayne Dyer:
“Whatever the question, love is the answer.” Love is what our lives are all about. Love is what we leave behind when we take our leave of this life.
So how can Corona teach us to show our love more?
It is easy to love people and things we find pleasing. Not so easy to “love your enemy,” a challenge issued to us over 2,000 years ago. Genuine love means loving unconditionally, no strings attached. We love because we come from love, and we are made of love. Corona shows us that we are indeed one world, a fact the astronauts experienced decades ago when they saw our precious globe from space, one sparkling spot of light in a vast, dark area of space. What happens to people in China affects us. We are all connected. Our earth is our only home in the universe, and we all share it with each other. None of us has more right to be here than any other.
We have been going on with business as usual until we became faced with imminent danger, as now with Corona. How great are the chances that we will really die from Corona? Very small. Why are we so afraid? Because fear is rampant. Do we think of our place in the grand scheme of things and how we can affect far-reaching changes to benefit humanity for centuries and millennia to come? Yes, some of us do, but the masses react to a possibility of impending doom NOW.
Scientists have been clearly telling us, based on extensive and thorough research, that we are long overdue for changing our ways, our systematic exploitation of nature, our way of interacting with each other and our precious earth. Some small steps have been made, with great difficulty. Why do we take a pandemic more seriously than the very fate of all life on earth?
Reactions to Corona show us that it is possible to discontinue business as usual. We can let go of our luxuries and comforts, when we feel our very lives may be at stake. And indeed they are, and will be, long after the Corona threat has passed.
Corona shows us that we are willing to accept inconvenience when we feel personally threatened. Here the classic case of the frog in slowly boiling water comes to mind. The frog feels only a small degree of discomfort; it is still bearable, why make a big effort? Until the frog boils to death. Corona shows us that we can jump out of the boiling water before it is too late.
Is Corona more of a real threat to us than climate change or nuclear war? These are the real threats which brings the scientists’ 2020 Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, closer than humanity has ever been to fact-based probability of extinction.
We are all aware on some level that we are currently in the greatest wave of mass extinction that life on earth has ever experienced. Yes, there have been earlier waves, but they took place over millions of years, whereas ours is taking place, principally unhindered and rather promoted by our continued destructive actions, over decades. That is an order of magnitude we can hardly imagine.
Let Corona be our guiding light to value life. Let us support each other with compassion and benevolence and send love to our entire planet. We are all in this together. Let us appreciate every single person in our lives. Yes, that means you! I give thanks for you!
Patricia Biondo was affiliated with the EUU fellowship in Munich many years ago and has recently reconnected with us via ZOOM.