The shocking impact of the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our lives. We can only wonder at the ultimate consequences. What does it mean for our families, our friends, ourselves?
As a trigger for another financial crisis, the impact on the future will be great. An unprecedented level of corporate and government debt prior to the crisis has ensured systemic weakness. Long-time readers are well-aware of this danger and its implications.
Those with a sense of responsibility and the spirit to help others may be feeling helpless at the present time. Concern for our families is paramount. And, the natural urge to reach out, to care for the sick and elderly, to serve the community in our neighborhood or church, is suddenly and severely hampered.
Escalating needs will quickly become obvious, even as compassionate inclinations are confronted by growing personal risk.
To sustain body and spirit we are challenged to think differently, to alter our approach to life both inwardly and outwardly.
Above all, we face the need to stay positive in the face of fear and dislocation. This will not be possible unless we are determined – however uncertain the future – to take constructive action in our communities.
If we are unable to act physically, we certainly have multiple means of communication. We must be supportive in every way possible, strengthening positive relationships and discouraging despair.
Morale always depends on action – on being and doing.
Accepting fear is useless. Losses certainly hurt and can require unwelcome adjustments. But the greatest damage from getting knocked down is not getting up.
All this is especially important for our local communities, which we will depend on in the coming economic disarray.
Personally, we must count on ourselves to stand firm in the storm, and to look around to see who else is counting on us. How quickly can we refocus our attention on priorities? How can we gain confidence in our sense of purpose, dependability, and usefulness?
The corruption and disintegrating order of the present age reveal the necessity for thinking and acting in a manner fit for the future.
We are being tested. Yes! Are we willing to consider what we wish to gain from being tested – to learn, to mature emotionally and spiritually, and to become better people?
Let’s think about how we wish to comport ourselves as mature adults and human beings. Such tests as these show us what we are made of.
For those without a sense of inward spirit in themselves, severe tests can sometimes feel intolerable. Yet we persevere with great courage, digging deep into our own accumulated strength. Can we recognize that such perseverance is a function of spirit more than of rational intellect? Reason is a wonderful tool, but only spirit will carry the day.
For the religiously oriented among us, the challenge will be to resist the false security offered by institutional dogma or silver-tongued preachers. Will we allow our inward self, our spiritual grounding, to be diverted from a direct relationship with God? Scriptural guidance is immediately available, and it is quite explicit.
Whoever we are, we will gain steadfast strength by first turning inward to ground ourselves and then outward through action to serve family and community.
We can best learn and grow by opening ourselves to the unexpected benefits of hardship – by allowing the testing to become a path to wisdom, to discipline, and to a deepening perceptual sensitivity.
It is this that provides us with the strength and vision for building the future – both for ourselves and for America. Nothing of such profound value comes without pain.
The time to confront pain and find our strength is now, and the way to find it is through constructive action.
You may watch for the next post on or about April 8.
Note to new readers: Links to a project description, an introduction to the coming book, and several chapters in draft can be found at the top of this page.