When everyone around us is either panicking, or dismissing heavily everyone that is panicking, it’s hard to stay on solid ground. I remember when the global financial crisis hit in 2008, and I lost everything, including my marriage. It was admittedly a truly shitty time. Everyone was in a blind panic, and I lost 70% of my income in a few weeks, with the remaining 30% on shaky ground. With a toddler and a huge mortgage, this was obviously not received well by us. I’ve always wondered what it would have looked like if I hadn’t panicked as hard. Now I have an opportunity to look into that with COVID-19 and the ongoing panic. When 911 happened, and we were all convinced this was going to be a new world war, it was also challenging but I was in design school and more interested in my outfits than I was in world war, but I remember the ongoing conversations and panic around me. Before this, was the Iraq war, and then I was truly too young to get it, but remember my mum shaking my shoulders in tears watching the news as I had a huge tantrum that I had scratched my Dino figurine’s nose (from a McDonald’s Happy Meal) and telling me that Dino wasn’t important. (I was truly horrified by her statement, Dino was life).
Before this were other global challenges, before my time, but maybe you were there for those. What history teaches us, to quote Haruki Murakami, is that ‘Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional’. I think the thing that alleviates suffering is to get outside of the world of ‘me’ (small mind) and get into Big Mind. Whilst we might panic about toilet paper, we can also consider that 2.4 billion people don’t have a proper toilet. 1 in 3 people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water, let alone water to throw toilet paper into. Whilst we might stock our kitchens with food supplies fearing a pandemic, 1.3 billion people around the world don’t have housing. So now is a time to understand the reality of our concerns in relation to the other humans. What if this pandemic proved be a uniting force? What if instead of hoarding for ourselves, we began to look at how to help others?
Sent with love,