Can Open Hearts Overcome a Closed World?
A closed down world??!! I’ve had fears, in these times of greed and meanness, that our society would be shaken by war or a nuclear exchange or a political revolution, but never had this idea of all of the things in our lives being shut down, inaccessible, closed off to us as the ultimate demolition of life as we know it entered my mind.
Within an astonishingly brief period of time we have been closed off from movie theatres, restaurants, concerts, shopping malls, churches, schools, meetings and conferences, air travel, sports events, certain medical clinics, walk-in banking, gyms, museums, zoos, and the list goes on. The actual truth, however, is that not a single one of these things is necessary for survival. We don’t really need them. But do we want them? Do these things enrich our lives and bring great pleasure and comfort? Of course!
The common denominator of all of these life activities boils down to money. We know this because of the swift plunge in stock markets and governments’ concerns about stimulating economies above all else. We are being impressed by the fact that the things now taken away from us are things that money can buy. They are not the things that really keep us connected to each other. And this is what this is really about, isn’t it? Before COVID-19 made its appearance, we were in the midst of a crisis on all levels of society, one that at its foundation was the overwhelming breakage of our relationships with each other.
This tiny little invader has brought us a huge opportunity. Our lives are slowing down. Life feels less frantic, less demanding, and more manageable. We are at home now, with family and with ourselves. There’s time for togetherness and catching up and the joy we feel when we are doing simple things together. There is also time to reflect, maybe on what life really means or on whether the frenzied lifestyle so common to many of us really worth it.
Please understand, I am not minimizing the stress associated with these major, forced changes in life, but the thing is that we are learning to solve these difficulties by working together. Our hearts are opening to the importance of connection with each other and we are beginning to feel the associated benefits and the enjoyment. Suddenly, care for the common good is ultimately more important than anything else.
It’s becoming evident that when this virus runs its course, we will be living in a different world. Do you think we can reconstruct ourselves as a society of caring, serving and connection and still have all the things that we enjoy and that make life more fun? We can if we want it and the way to do this is to open our hearts more and more to each other. We must strive to reach an inner state, individually and collectively, where it would not occur to us to harm another in order to get what we want. We must move ahead with the strong intention to treat each other well. If we can hold on to our connection, world leaders will have no choice but to follow. Open your hearts, my friends. What have you got to lose?