jusummerhayes

An open heart

"My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes." — L.M. Montgomery 

Right now, we're all wishing this Covid19 thing were over.

It's getting in the way of living, right?

I get it. Honestly, I do. 

I understand why, if you were only just holding on by the tips of your fingernails, this pandemic is more than enough to, well, send you to a very dark place. 

Of course, for those housebound and without a job or any income, that sounds churlish but what I mean to say is that if things weren't hard enough, then (no sh*t Ju) they've just got very much harder.

In case you hadn't noticed, there's no shortage of well-meaning advice telling us what we should do with our hours and days of confinement, but I can't help feeling it's merely a distraction from asking ourselves a more profound question.

And that is?

What does it mean to be human?

If the last Century and a bit is anything to go by, (and sorry for being so blunt) it means having what we want when we want it. Yes, not for the first time, I'm taking a tilt at our consumption-led, hedonistic society. 

P*ss off, I hear you say. There you sit in your little office, dolling out advice: what do you know about my life?

Nothing.

And what? Does that mean I should sit idly and/or quietly by saying diddly squat? 

Possibly, but having exposed myself over the years to a few slings and arrows and inherited a few deleterious scars, I'm not about to shut up shop; not just yet anyhow. 

In any event, does my crass exposition of all that's wrong, qua humans, change the fact that, collectively, we've ruined the planet?

I don't think so.

In fact, if I think about my parents' generation (they were born in the 1940s), you can't tell me that they wouldn't have had some foresight that by pushing the envelope on the industrialists' mantra of 'growth', it wouldn't change the world forever — and I'm not just talking about jobs, homeownership, international travel and better healthcare. I mean, we (my parents' generation appears remarkably quiet) talk so blithely about air, soil and water quality, but we don't realise that absent us, the damn humans, the earth would do just fine. No, actually, it would be better than fine. The earth and/or nature and/or every living thing wouldn't be disturbed in the least by our complete absence. 

Again, and your point Ju?

It's a very simple one and I'm sure will, in these dark days, be made over and over; namely, if we don't see this killer virus as an opportunity for a major course correction in our lives, when will we?

Now saying those words and acting of them is easier said than done when your whole life is wrapped around (inter alia) a relationship dependent on maintaining the status quo, a job, debt, supporting loved ones and, well, just living, but then again, in your heart, you know that it's not sustainable; and it never was. Oh sure, the earth might support your lifetime and possibly the next, but thereafter the world will quickly collapse to the point were Covid19 will seem no more than a blip on the historical, pandemic timeline. 

Of course, on a macro level, if our leaders don't take things seriously — as appears evidently the case with Putin, Trump, Bolasanoro, Xi Jinping and many more — then what difference does it make if we recycle a little bit more, stop driving our cars for no reason or buying stuff we don't need? Probably, very little. But then again, surely, we need to ask ourselves if this world, even the one we're now experiencing, could be a more beautiful world than we know is possible (see this book that bears the title) or is likely to die on its knees through (very sadly) our insatiable desire for more, or at least a resurrection of the status quo?

And, yes, I know how depressing it must be to keep reading these posts but if now isn't the time to ask ourselves what's really important, then there really is very little hope for us all 😢.

Blessings,

Ju

Photo by Cristiane Teston on Unsplash

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