With Spring greening, human life is in lockdown. How will we survive this unprecedented crisis? Abi Rooley-Towle sees hope in the power of kindness, community love and care.
Chaos. Confusion. Fear. Panic. Despair. These are perhaps the words that sum up the global mood right now. There has never been a collective event such as the Corona epidemic in most of our life times.
To counter these words are a series of questions: how do we stay safe, how do we manage financially, how do we collectively care for each other? How will society as we know it survive?
There is only one thing we can do really right this crazy minute. To do our best to as each day goes by to answer the above questions in a changing landscape through considered thought and action. Above all we must remember human solidarity, compassion and kindness at all level of society. That is how we will get through this, one way or another.
Governments need to model this quickly by creating new processes and systems for health and financial survival. Big companies and mortgage lenders are only part of the picture; there are the freelancers, the self employed, those on zero contract hours, people who rent, those who are more vulnerable still, the single parents, the long term sick etc. It is the time to consider Universal Income. Individually, we can all give however small – a donation to a food bank or a small financial donation to a charity that will help the worst hit.
So, community love is the first consideration, because if we look after the whole the individual will find a way forward. It is so heartening to see how community care is blossoming in different ways all over the country. That is how we will get through it and perhaps changing the way we live, eat, shop, consume. In this way we can look for the silver linings that accompany every storm cloud, however dreadful and black it also is. And yes, we will have death, bankruptcy and despair and there will be the utter nihilism and dreadfulness that accompanies this. It is what it is, and none of us knows if it is ourselves or someone we care about that may not see the other side. But, in our sorrow we must remember that the greening of spring is the natural turning after winter has laid the ground to waste.
Some of the silver linings could be: we spend time with and actively bond with our loved ones as we go through these days, philosophising, cooking, trying new skills, learning resilience, self discipline and creativity are all things that can come out of this time. We may all become adept at budget meals and up cycling . Perhaps we grow food, song write, learn to knit, pray, meditate, learn kick boxing, enrol on online learning courses- time to think wide, high, different. It is time to learn the art of slow and the art of stillness, of preserving rather than wasting, of finding the small bright moments against a dark backdrop of fear. Perhaps mother earth is asking this of us so we clean the world a little of our pollution by being still and slow.
Keeping social is a challenge but we could set up ”Skype pints” or “Skype tea parties” – depending on your tipple of choice(!), making sure we stay connected, smile, chat, share ideas and ways forward.
It is up to us: do we consciously fashion our way forward with as much wisdom and compassion as we can muster or do we sink to the lowest common denominator, becoming myopic, selfish and mean of heart? We will need to be the Phoenix that rises from the flames – may our plumage be kindness, astuteness, carefulness and long-sightedness. These would be golden feathers indeed.
I leave you with my song Phoenix to encourage this into being.
And “What is Love” – to inspire a light in your heart that shines on all.
First published on the author’s Accidental songwriter…site