While the coronavirus epidemic is putting our lives in turmoil across the world and turning our societies unrecognisable over night with limited mobility; empty streets, schools and airports; lockdown of countries; restrictions on our social pursuits and freedoms and militant directives on social distancing in order to urgently diminish its spread, it might just also provide a necessary reset and (ironically) connect us closer together.
The coronavirus is affecting us across continents, borders, ethnicity, skin color, gender and income levels – it does not discriminate or favorize, and social status or privilige will not set anyone free. We are not only equal in the risk to be affected, we are also bound together in our interconnectedness, depending on the action and responsibility of each other. Additionally, wherever we look across the world right now, the coronavirus grounds are common – the interruptive avalanche on our socioeconomic lives is similar, the protective and preventive measurements taken are similar, and the fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and uncertainty we experience is similar – it bring us all in the same boat – we can relate to each other and find compassion for each other from our own present reality.
We are all in this together and we will only win if we stand and come together. The coronavirus is demanding us to pause and to reset our lives as we know them – and to stand tighter together, whether as a family, neighbourhood, country or global community. What if the coronavirus is a call to reset our lives and come back to what truly matters to us? What if it calls on us to see ourselves, each other and our world with new eyes? What if it is a call on us to be, come and stand stronger and better together? What if it is a call on radical compassion for each other across the world, reminding us that in fact we are equal in our common humanity?
While the turmoil of our everyday lives is real, equal to the deep uncertainty and overwhelming fear we might be experiencing, take a moment to reflect upon what the coronavirus reset came to teach you.
Reset our Compassion for Each Other
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together”, Desmund Tutu
What if the lesson the coronavirus is passing on to us is radical and actionable compassion? When seeing this epidemic with new eyes, we might start to witness the possibility in front of us for an emergency of more compassion for each other. At the heart of compassion is acceptance; the better we are at accepting the reality in front of us right now, the more compassionate we can become towards ourselves and others. This is true for the coronavirus times as well as beyond.
Just imagine for a moment if these months of isolation, restricted movements and time in quarantine became our everyday lives, and now imagine that this “experience” in fact is what life looks like for millions of people around the world from slave camps in Libya, refugee camps in South Sudan, Lesbos, Bangladesh, DRC, Turkey, Syria etc., indigenous people fighting for their survival (and ours) in the Amazonia, women being restricted in their movements across the world, across Latin America notably due to the risk of femicide and in Saudi Arabia due to the male guardianship system among other examples.
In these times of complete reset globally, lets recall that with or without the coronavirus we are equal and bound together in our common humanity and interconnectedness. Recognising our shared humanity is a reflection of real compassion because it means that we are able to clearly see ourselves in each other.