Pandemic Will Lead us to Break with the Past and Try Something New
Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner April 30, 2020
A sign posted at Empress Gardens Retirement Residence shows support for health-care workers on April 28, 2020 in Peterborough, ON. A new COVID-19 virus outbreak has been declared at the facility. CLIFFORD SKARSTEDT/EXAMINER
As we negotiate this week's emotions and its additional grief and shock over Nova Scotia, our fatigue is deepening, it seems to me.
What I do is relish the words of three women of wisdom: one, a Jewish woman in America, Rebecca Solnit, who habitually counsels hope in the dark; another, a Christian in India whose father was Hindu, and who won the Booker prize for fiction in 1997, with "The God of Small Things," Arundhati Roy; and the third, an African-American poet named Sonya Renee Taylor.
Finding them has been salve for my soul. The comfort found in reading is called bibliotherapy. I rejoice when I see my grandchildren finding it out.
Rebecca Solnit wrote recently in The Guardian, an English newspaper:
"As we struggle to learn the science and statistics of this terrible scourge, our psyches are doing something equivalent, adjusting to profound social and economic changes, studying the lessons which disasters teach, and equipping ourselves for an unanticipated world."
Ah, this might explain my fatigue. Overload. Unfamiliar territory. Maybe it's worse for those of us accustomed to extensive planning! As the current witticism says: "Introverts, look in on your extrovert friends. Unlike you, they don't know how to handle this!"
Arundhati Roy, now deeply involved in Indian politics, writes:
"Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice and data banks, our dead ideas and dead rivers and smoky skies. Or we can walk through lightly with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it."
In a domestic parallel, a lot of people I know are using the days to clean out drawers and attics and sheds, giving away or discarding things. It's a beneficial practice for minds too, and attachments. And ambitions. Ambitions for larger, faster, more modern, more impressive things.
These thinkers point to a break with the past, and breaks are always disorienting. But the same-old, same-old isn't going to save us either. I've been involved in international development for 50 years. The world, ever shrinking, is not a fair one. There is massive wealth and massive poverty: over-accumulation and scarcity. Continue Reading >HERE<
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