Australia, March 2020
Corona means ‘crown’ in Latin, Italian, and Spanish.
It is an appropriate name for the novel Coronavirus that, as a self-crowned autocrat, has put an abrupt stop to ‘life’ as we had incrementally come to take for granted, 70 years into the Western world post-war era.
It took a ‘speck’ too infinitesimal to observe through a standard microscope to bring the juggernaut that is the world’s global economy close to crash point and the best part of 7 billion lives close to breaking point.
It took it less than a month for it to realise a vision that only a handful of the most dangerous Machiavellian sociopathic geniuses could have harboured.
Moving away from the typical scenario of seemingly ‘unlucky’ individuals coming to grief from one thing or another, the Corona-crowned ruler is firing at the world’s population in a grim and manic Russian Roulette-styled attack. Working in particularly stealthy ways, it became an overnight sensation.
More than that, it became the catalyst for a vast karmic choreography of biblical proportions.
Of course, we’ve always known that people die. We all have parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends who died even before we understood what dying meant.
We accompanied others to the micro-moment of the ultimate separation … of breath from the body.
Of course, over the years, we have heard of many millions more dying near and far from various causes.
Of course, we know that the time we have left in our current physical body is getting more limited with each day that goes by, but nothing has brought home the brutal reality of human mortality as Covid-19 has. And, at the moment, it has us sheltering watchful and anxious inside our homes.
That said, we have reasons to hope the novel Coronavirus will be more magnanimous than the Influenza virus that, in the 12 months that followed its outbreak in 1918, attacked one-third of the world population, killing an estimated 40 million.
Back then, young people and the elderly were the ones predominantly at-risk of death by contagion.
Then as now, in the absence of absolute knowledge, it could be said that the universe’s intention might be to force humanity to wake up to the preciousness of time. It’s the call to internalise that our time on Earth as ordinary individuals, as celebrities, as politicians, and as power yielders is short. Too short to spend as much of it as we tend to do, stewing in our homes, workplace, and streets, in a depleting, toxic broth of anger, anxiety, resentment and revenge.
Sure! Our time on Earth is too short to further cultivate the self-limiting beliefs whirring inside our solar plexus, the ones that insist we are undeserving of anything genuinely great or genuinely annihilating.
The ones that have us believe that we are unworthy of any more contentment than what has so far befallen us.
The ones that blame our misery not on our shortcomings but on others thought to make like difficult for us.
We are all on planet Earth for a reason.
For a purpose.
It’s not in the value judgment of others that we will find either – not any more than our wellbeing.
Odd, perhaps, but comforting, should be the reality that the challenging times we are facing in our personal lives are not just about us. In fact, they have never just been about us. Testing personal circumstances always reach far beyond ourselves.
As karmically intended, they impact others, near or far, depending.
They also aim to push us out of the complacent or dysfunctional groove that, regardless of age, gender and opportunities, has compromised our true potential for too many decades already.
We are multi-faceted individuals, yes, but we are only one people, united by the same desires and the same ideals.
In this era of the Covid-19 pandemic, the unprecedented demands made on most of humanity combine in a crucible within which, separately and together, we are intended to find a point of creative reset.
The motto ‘One for all. All for one’ was made famous by Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Three Musketeers published in 1844.
With roots that go even further back, that oath transcends time.
It defines the value of true friendship and strong family bonds.
Regardless of the unprecedented and sometimes devastating moment underfoot, no one should be left behind having to fend for themselves.
Not in our family.
Not in our community.
Not even those that hail from across the globe.
Not even the fauna, flora and minerals created within our planet.
As another old adage has it, whether it’s about our family, our community, our country or the greater world, we are only as strong as our weakest links.
Cicero, the Roman statesman and philosopher, died in 43 BC but long before that, he coined the Latin phrase ‘unus fiat ex pluribus’.
It means ‘Out of the many, one’.
When one person loves others as much as themselves, it unites all as one.
He is also said to have urged his compatriots to ‘Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.’
More than two millennia later, has there ever been a better time to heed Cicero’s wisdom than today?
So, the best use that can be made of this long string of months ruled by the fear of contagion, unavoidable restrictions and uncertainties, is to make them crackle and pop with invigorating aha moments – moments of purposeful, healthy reckoning.
Seriously: Why waste this precious time – or any other moment for that matter – by surrendering to sadness, anxiety or anger?
Why allow the endless ripples of these emotions and thoughts release throughout our body’s systems, our energy field tainting our interactions?
We don’t need them.
We don’t want them.
We don’t have the mind-space for them.
Interestingly, this spiky ‘Corona’ is the catalyst not for war with ourselves or with others across borders.
It’s the shrillest sound of the most magnificent horn imaginable.
It serves as the most rousing wakeup call humanity has ever heard.
It is powerfully loud and extraordinarily precise.
So much so that it has magnified many systemic cracks and inequalities in our global society – which is a definite positive.
Now, we can respond and do so we will more efficiently if we know how to side-step anger and avoid becoming ‘reactive’.
Reactions are impulses, not game plans. Seldom are reactive reaction long-term game-changers for the greater good.
Bottom line: our thoughts have driven us thus far, for so many centuries, decade after decade – day after day.
Our thoughts have created the content of all we have ingested by way of mind and mouth.
Nothing seen, said or actualised has ever stood alone.
Whether considered positive in the short term or negative in the long run, only to be reassessed in the fulness of time, all of what, separately and collectively, we have set in motion is forever rippling under its unique karmic signature.
It’s the stuff that manifests as consequences in our home, in our clan, in our workplace, on social media and in our social groups.
Some ripples have consequences that boomerang back at us and bring us down.
Some brought us short-term euphoria.
Others created complications that rippled far and wide, even hitting some who were strangers to us.
That said, many ripples show promise of achieving enormous good.
Loins girded, teeth clenched behind our masks, in and out of our daily activities, hopes and nightmares, we have so far struggled with the toxicity of the energy invested in our thoughts reverberated through many of our actions.
Though there is no set expiry date to the patterns called ‘human nature’, it is easy to guess that the window of opportunity for positive changes will remain narrow.
Sheltering at home, social distancing, restrictions placed on the entertainment and hospitality industries in particular, however necessary they might remain for some time, will not be tolerated for long.
Beyond concerns about the flattened economy, when push comes to shove, our ego-minds no more trained in our forties than in our teens, will drive us to demand that freedom of movement and self-determination be returned to us – regardless of the cost.
Even if, again, the cost is turning our backs on our ‘loved ones’ and creating more societal long-terms ills than short-term gains.
Our love of ‘liberty’ is one thing, but social irresponsibility is another.
‘The world is our oyster’, some say, suggesting that all good things are there for the taking.
Perhaps more to the point, the great warriors that we are could say, ‘Each day is our practice field. Guided by Soul’s whispers, our awakened mind is our Coach.
Image created and kindly donated by Jayne Doah