Thursday, 19 March 2020

Thoughts on Social Distancing and Lockdown

Social Distancing

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. They listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

"And the people healed and in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

"And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed."
~Kitty O'Meara


Lockdown

Yes, there is fear.

Yes, there is isolation.
Yes, there is panic buying.
Yes, there is sickness.
Yes, there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world, people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe. 
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again,
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

By Fr Richard Hendrick, IrelandMarch 13 2020


"What is the Corona/Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching us?
I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad.

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:
1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.
2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.
3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.
4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.
5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.
6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.
7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.
8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are,
a virus can bring our world to a standstill.
9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.
10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.
11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.
12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick. 
13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.
14) Whereas many see the Corona/Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a *great corrector*
It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not."

It’s a big eye opener all of this, isn’t it 
We are finally realising money has no value.
Your amazing job is no longer an amazing job, your expensive clothes now have no worth and no one gives a shit how you look anymore.
Your big house is just 4 empty walls like everyone else’s. 
Your nice car is running on 4 tyres, the same as everyone else’s. 
We are finally seeing who the important people are, the ones who make a difference to our lives and are doing the crucial jobs we need. 
Shop workers ✔️
Care workers ✔️
Medical staff ✔️
Emergency services ✔️
Farmers ✔️
Lorry drivers/delivery people ✔️
Cleaners ✔️
Refuse workers ✔️
These people are the ones who keep our country ticking over, the core of our daily lives, the people who regularly go unnoticed and are often frowned upon but keep working hard, generally on a low income.
People constantly look down on them and gloat that they earn more money than them.
But what worth does your money have now?
How secure is your job in the real world when we take a step back to reality?
I’m proud of all of these people, they don’t earn enough for what they do, and they’re never appreciated for what they contribute.
Be kind to them, thank them, go out your way to tell them what an amazing job they’re doing.
Could you imagine how shit this would be without them??
Be thankful, I’ll be happy to buy them all a drink if we come out the other side πŸ™ŒπŸ½

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