March 19, 2020
Not everyone is crazy. Waiting-to-delivery Katie and I walked to the neighborhood grocery store to pick up some milk and a couple of dinners in preparation of hanging out at the apartment post-baby, and discovered reason and sanity still exists. The New Yorkers in Katie and Jason’s Queens neighborhood don’t appear to be greedy, hoarders, or especially overly panicked. Maybe it’s because a lot of people walk and carry their groceries home. Maybe it’s because apartments are small and there’s no space for Big Box store palettes of toilet paper. Maybe it’s because we, (notice WE–I’ve apparently moved in for a spell), are thinking of other things like a baby about to be born in the midst of madness.
Now is the time to hunker down. And I don’t mean isolate. Now is the time to get close. Get real. Focus on our personal and shared values. To be caring and loving. We, The People. need to be The Change We Seek to See in the World, as Gandhi said.
I hope the world sees this as a time to step back off the fast-paced, frenzied lives most of us lead and self-reflect. What do we believe? What really matters?
Our conclusions may not necessarily be good for the economy: What if we don’t actually need to consume our lives with the doing and the buying and the consumerizing? What if we decide to read and write and go for a walk, just because we need some fresh air? What if we stopped focusing on the screens, be it phones, TV, CNN or Fox, and actually talked about what’s important? What if we stopped being frightened by TV news and read thoughtful and well-balanced “slow” journalistic accounts?
What if what we think is bad actually becomes good? A world re-alignment gift?
Sitting next to my very, very, very pregnant daughter, being quiet, knowing that for her it’s about to get very real and very hard, and that the pain of labor will replaced by abundant, forever love, gives me a sense of peace. Joy and light prevails in the folly of grey skies.
As the saying goes, we can only control ourselves. Which is profoundly liberating. We get to stop. Take control. Evolve into our highest selves. To be better.