When the crisis finally passes - and it will - what will we do? Will we return to our disconnected and self-centered ways? Lost in countless hours of social media. Over-scheduling our children. Retreating into our homes and never knowing our neighbors. Never reaching out to ask, "Do you need help?" Forgetting to stop and smell the roses or take the road less traveled.
There are many positives that have resulted from the crisis. In the past few weeks, I have seen more people out and about in the neighborhood. Walking, Running. Biking. Parents and children enjoying cherished moments exploring a nearby nature preserve. We've shared light conversation with neighbors across the fence. On a recent stroll, we met a new neighbor who shared a packet of tomato seeds. They are already planted and we're hoping for a bumper crop which we can share around the 'hood. We are living our lives as in days of old - the way our parents and grandparents lived. Well, for some of us even when we were kids in neighborhoods where you could get-up a game of kickball or hide-and-seek weekdays or weekends.
I am someone who stays in touch reaching out by phone more than by e-communication. But even I have been calling and talking to family and friends more than usual. Making sure that those who are alone know that I am thinking of them and making sure they aren't so alone!
And sheltering in place not realizing that there is a whole world out there who was already living this and coming to understand that. A good friend in Reno who suffers from a form bi-polar disorder said this to me when I asked if she was hunkered down, "As you know, I almost never leave the apartment. What people are shocked to have to give up, I had to give up long ago. I hope you are well, too." She is perfectly content and suffering far less than the rest of us complaining of the isolation. At the same time, showing her compassion and concern for me.
Every morning for many years I have meditated and asked a higher power - whoever that might be - to show us/me a better way. To be better human beings. To be loving. To be compassionate. To be forgiving. To be mindful. To keep all in harm's way safe. To heal one and all - especially the evil and greed of leaders who (since the dawn of time) have shown little concern for those they are entrusted to protect.
Yes, the world has been placed ever so gently in our hands. Let us not fail!