I have had a number of conversations with people in recent days and almost all have asked me whether I think anything will change after this crisis is over. The way that the question is phrased left me to conclude that all of these people wish some things were different.
My reply to each of them has been to ask “So, what you like to be different.” Their answers were interesting and varied and included wanting a better work life balance to reducing our dependence on China for so much. Another said that he was going to buy less from supermarkets and use local shops, while a fourth hoped that working on Sundays would cease so that we all had one less day of commercialism. My next question to them was, “What are you going to do differently to make that happen” followed by, “And who will you ask to ensure you keep to that change?”
I do want to remain conscious and sensitive to those who have already lost dear ones to Corona-virus and I have been in conversation with such people. I also am aware of those who have lost most of their business contracts but this unusual time could become a significant and once in a lifetime opportunity to re-zero our lives. A time to instigate a factory reset so we genuinely live more wholesome caring lives. Many people’s first response is to expect the Government to start doing things differently but that can just be a way of abdicating our own responsibility to make the world a better place. Of course, it is not that we don’t want to live more caring wholesome lives, but rather we seem to get carried along by the deceits of success and reputation. Soon we are unknowingly pursuing our own agendas at the expense of our health, well-being and general peace and inner joy at being alive on this beautiful generous planet.
One of my hopes for a change in this world is that people learn to become less afraid and scared of death. Some people seem to go to all possible lengths and costs to prevent and put off that day for as long as they can. Others live in daily fear of cancer while many of us simply refuse to consider the prospect of dying. Yes, I know that unlike you, I do not have my own children that I desire to watch grow up but I am learning to live at one with all of life and with the Great Unseen and with all of nature. My encounters with this Great Unseen suggest to me that there is so much more than this physical life. Surely what follows this life will just be another exciting abundant reality and I really do not mind when that time comes about. There is something much more profound and precious within all of us than the self-made image that we surround ourselves with. It seems to me that there is nothing as sad as seeing someone trying to cling on and discover immortality through all manner of physical means. I know of people who say that they now regard their cancer as being a gift to them for it has taught them to value both life and death. That is amazing but not surprising to me.
So, my encouragement to you and all who I meet is for each of us to determine to pursue what we may have recently discovered is of worth in our lives. Then we need to share that with a trustworthy friend and when this crisis is over to ask that person to continually remind us of our new aims. Then, we could just find that not only are we living ‘well’ but so also is our neighbour and their neighbour and suddenly much good will have come out of this current lockdown. Remember, the change you and I want to see in this world has to start with you and me! Someone much more important than me said that but I have forgotten who!
To conclude, I am reminded of some friends who joined me on walking the Camino De Santiago some years ago. As a result of that pilgrimage, their walk became a journey of self-discovery which resulted in them choosing to make a complete change towards simplicity in their life circumstances that continues to this day.
Stay well, be at peace and may you be true to that inner call of reality.