Editor’s note: Visited this blog before? If so, you’re probably more curious than upset about the headline. If you’re new here and triggered by that headline, reading other posts in this blog might be a good idea. They’ll give context.
I know everything works out. Even while the pandemic sweeps the globe, people are afraid, suffering, dying, worried about their loved ones and themselves, things still will work out.
I know those emotions— fear and worry — mean one thing and one thing only. I also know if a person doesn’t know what I know, such emotions feel real, scary and connected to what’s happening. There are things to fear, worry and suffer over if I don’t know what emotions are about. Thankfully, I do know.
Others may not so they suffer.
Another thing I know: COVID-19 presents great positive opportunity. Here are ten great ways COVID-19 benefits us all.
1. We’re all in this together
COVID-19 reveals something we know, but ignore: we’re all on the same planet and we create our individual AND our collectively reality. One person’s actions affect the entire planet. That’s always happening. This pandemic clarifies our connectedness. On the plus side, that means one person’s act can change the world for the better as it can do the opposite. That’s good news!
2. It’s bringing out the best of us
I’ve seen police serenading neighborhoods from empty streets in Italy, medical personnel acting heroically in hospitals, storeowners setting aside special elderly shopping hours. We’ve gotten back in touch with each other and our communities. We’re greeting each other more (from six feet away). It’s a good thing.
3. We’re rethinking priorities
Loved ones, family members, friends, community…all these things took second fiddle in our earn-a-living-society. Not any more. Amidst COVID-19, loved ones, family members, friends and community hold center stage. It could remain that way going forward. If we want.
Research shows people on deathbeds rarely say “I wish I would have worked harder!” Instead, they regret spending so much time at work. No better time to restructure priorities than now. COVID-19 gives us that time.
4. It’s clarifying real value
Forced home, isolation demands we get comfortable with ourselves. Isolation frightens some. Prolonged isolation from COVID-19 can bring introspection and renewed self-value and self discovery. Taking quiet time, focusing more on one’s own company brings many rewards. COVID-19 could resurface our lasting and inestimable individual and collective value.
5. We’re rethinking jobs
COVID-19 strongly affects some people. Sheltering in place confronts beliefs about working jobs we hate. These people LOVE LOVE LOVE not working right now, but also feel shame and embarrassment about that. Society makes us think we’re worthless if we don’t work, pull our weight or “get a job”. Some realize under COVID-19 that those shibboleths are be false. That’s great awareness!
And, there are others who get how much they LOVE LOVE LOVE their work. They’re refreshed in their isolation, but also antsy. They find great value doing something they believe important. Even if it’s not. That’s great too!
6. Some are rethinking “earning a living”
On a bigger scale, people see now the terrific tie between them and this economy. Like hamsters on a wheel, if people don’t work, the whole shebang stops. This realization could awaken whole new ideas about running societies and economies. Are we brave enough to leap into the (seeming) unknown?
7. It’s changing what’s possible politically
Never in a thousand years would I predict that REPUBLICANS would send federal checks directly to individuals. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening. It looks like Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income proposal got implemented, in various forms, other countries as a stop-gap to total economic destruction. Our bailouts here in the US may not be as grand, but amazingly, the bedeviled idea “socialism” is what is keeping us from total economic ruin. Paradigms could change from all this. If we want.
8. Air pollution? What air pollution?
With so many not working and businesses not running, already we see changes happening with less pollution coming from cities and industry. If humanity acts decisively on climate change, big environmental reversals can happen fast. COVID-19 allows a glimpse at a possible future.
9. Some now think different
Radical ideas may not be as radical as we thought. COVID-19 offers contemplating new ideas economic ideas that don’t tie humanity to economic output. Emerging from COVID-19, can we create a new economy not demanding human effort as its fuel? Anything’s possible now. Thanks COVID-19!
10. It’s part of the great shift
With every major historical, negative event, humanity, on the other side of them, came out better. Every major war, every great plague, and every natural disaster launched more and better human ideas. No matter what humans face, on the other side we get better. I know this pandemic complements a spiritual shift urging us towards the future. Perhaps we will heed that call. That would be great!
So what shall we do with these ten great things? I suspect people will react differently. One thing’s for sure: life on the planet won’t go back to the way it was. That’s a great thing…and maybe an 11th great thing about COVID-19.