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The Chance

Dianne Shaver

While everything is on hold, we are not. Our minds, our spirits, our energy is still working as usual. What’s different now is we are not rushing around and have the opportunity to pay attention in a way we usually do not. Given that, we can now begin to focus on what kind of world we want to live in and stop waiting to be told what that will be when this is over. We are all connected, not by actual contact, but by the fact that we all live on this planet. So, when we work together even on the level of thought, change does take place.

So, again, the question – what kind of world do you want to live it? Do you want a kinder more empathetic world? Do you want a world where every human is valued? Do you want a world based on integrity? Do you want a world where we use our gifts and talents? Do you want a world filled with creativity and innovation that works for all? Do you want a world where the most vulnerable are a common responsibility? Do you want a world that values the individual over money? Do you want a world where we are treated equally? Do you want a world where we support one another’s dreams and the right to be?

Obviously, that’s the world I envision. It’s clear we cannot continue as we have been. That’s one of the gifts of this time in quarantine. Again, I am not forgetting those who are suffering- those stricken and those who are caring for them, the frontline workers keeping our groceries and necessities coming. The caregivers and those who are providing essential services are all demonstrating the world I envision. Plus they are showing us what is possible when we care. It’s a very hard lesson, but if we learn it we do not have to go through things like this again.

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Every person who is caring for the ill – the doctors, nurses, technicians, those sewing masks, keeping the grocery stores open and stocked, driving the trucks that bring our food and necessities, delivering the mail, preparing and giving food to the homeless, paying employees when the business is closed, keeping the banks open and all of those who are doing similar things whom I may have not mentioned. They demonstrate what a world where we care for one another looks like. There is no reason that cannot continue when we come out of this. Ture, it will look different from what is going on right now but we cannot go back to the uncaring, dog eat dog world we had before all of this. Most of the time that attitude is cloaked in respectability and a smile and the right words, but the underlying commitment to only self and family and those who are like us is still there. I have seen people who are pillars of their community and their church spew hatred toward those who are different. This cannot be. Not if we want to survive as a human race.

Now is the time to decide what we want our culture to be. It’s not up to those in power. Change has always come from the bottom up and it has been small groups standing up for what they want that have brought every significant change. There was a saying – “what if there was a war and no one came?” We can change it to – “what if there was blind greed and cruelty and we didn’t buy into it, promote it or live it?” We do have that choice. We are not powerless. We have been told that we are but it is not true. The first thing we can do is to stop listening to “experts” and listen to our heart and what it is telling us and where it is leading us. No one can tell you what’s right for you but you. Doing that easy and small thing is the beginning of changing the world. Because from that place of truth we can do no harm, experience compassion and live a life that as meaning. And when we each do that it adds up to a changed world. We now have that chance.

Best wishes for creating a better world

Dianne J. Shaver, M.A.

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