Friday, April 17, 2020

Awakening Our Humanity

For the first time ever, all services and rituals of Easter and Passover season were canceled—attention was focused on the crisis of the global coronavirus pandemic.  People sheltered in their homes, some watched virtual services on computers and TVs.      …...It felt empty.

We are embroiled in a world pandemic; thousands have died and more will follow.  This is a tragedy beyond reckoning . . . but history of the world shows that out of tragedy there often arises unexpected good.

I have seen signs of an awakening of our humanity.  People reaching out to help others: doctors and nurses volunteering to leave their homes and go to help where the need is greatest; first responders knowingly walking into danger; people in apartment buildings cheering together from their windows the efforts of those facing the danger; healthy people singing and dancing from a distance to cheer up their neighbors; children finding ways to raise money to help strangers; homebound folks making face masks to distribute to nursing homes and shelters; random groups distributing food to those financially challenged by job loss . . . These are people helping people, not for profit or personal gain but because there is a need.  Isn’t this what we are supposed to be about?

In our fast-paced competitive world we have over-valued the material side of life while under-valuing—often ignoring—the spiritual dimension of our reality.  The spiritual dimension is not substantive but ethereal (without weight or measure) . . . the consciousness that is present only in humanity: love, compassion, empathy, hope, dreams, ideas, creativity, inventiveness . . . qualities that define our uniqueness and the very essence of our humanity.

I’ve longed for some unexpected good to come from this tragedy and I see it in the kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness that is daily emerging.  Perhaps we needed to be slowed down to allow it to shine forth.  This world-wide viral attack shows us the oneness of our small planet, what harms any part harms the whole.  Man made boundaries no longer apply in a world with international transportation and communication.  We are at the point in history which requires our acknowledgement of our One World—our survival depends on it.

A quote from Martin Luther King:  ‘We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

And from a book by Kathleen Duffy titled: Teilhard’s Struggle ‘An evolutionary worldview implies that the cosmos is still unfinished and that its future depends on Human activity . . . the advance of Humanity’s movement in the direction of spirit depends critically on Human endeavor’ . . . not fleeing the world to commune with God but plunging into the World at its deepest and most violent.

Humanity has a purpose--we are here to build a better world.

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