For me, learning often comes from understanding "why". Why things are the way they are, why things happen, why people are the way they are, why I act the way I do, why other people act the way they do. Once I understand the "why" of a situation, I can then understand how I need to respond both now and in the future.
Image by Bessi
If we are here, on Earth, to live, to love, and to become who we are meant to be, then we need to grow and to learn. And, for me, learning often comes from understanding "why". Why things are the way they are, why things happen, why people are the way they are, why I act the way I do, why other people act the way they do. Once I understand the "why" of a situation, I can then understand how I need to respond both now and in the future.
I was living in Miami at the time of Hurricane Andrew, one of the most powerful hurricanes (Level 5) ever experienced at that time. A few days later when I spoke to many people whose homes had been devastated, what I heard the most is that this experience had reminded them of what was truly important. Yes, their house had been damaged in one way or another, yes they had lost the roof on their home, yes, it was going to be a long way back, but what really counted was that their family and loved ones were safe.
So I understood that this was one of the lessons of Hurricane Andrew. To help people realize what really mattered in their lives. Not their job, not their car, not their house, not their status, but what mattered was the people they loved and who loved them. Learning this truth was their personal answer to "why" -- their life lesson was to realize the importance of love in their life. And there were surely other lessons or messages that came from the impact of Andrew as each one of us has a different path, and different teachings and lessons. But that lesson seemed the most prevalent.
So Here We Are Now...
So, 30 years later... we experienced a new "hurricane" called Covid-19.
So perhaps asking "why" can lead us to the greater purpose (from a life lesson perspective) of the Corona virus. What is its higher purpose? What can we learn from it? And of course, the purpose, while global, can also be specifically different for each one of us. Only each person individually can know in their inner being what their personal "why" is for this virus, and for any challenging situation they experience.
Perhaps the most common lesson, as with Hurricane Andrew and other natural disasters, is realizing what is truly important in your life. Or perhaps it is realizing what is not important. Or perhaps the challenge helps you get in touch with your true desires for the future. On a personal level, that may be branching out into a new occupation or career. Or rediscovering your creativity and what makes your heart sing. Or learning what you might choose to let go of. You could choose to let go of old grievances and grudges. You might choose to let go of a persona you've adopted and that doesn't fit who you really are.
In a time of seclusion, where we are being forced into a time of "personal retreat" - whther due to a pandemic, an illness, a environmental disaster - can be a time of reflection, a time of getting back in touch with our true selves.
Perhaps the why of an illness, a pandemic, a natural disaster, is so that we can reflect on where we are headed... by first being forced to go nowhere, to stay home, and to recreate a whole new experience of "home"...And then to reflect on where we want to go from here.
Why Is This Happening Now?
As a whole, on planet Earth, we've been "going, going, going"... sometimes, it seems, with our only purpose "getting somewhere, anywhere" which feels like some kind of progress... more, more, more... And a time of "staying home" can give us the opportunity to stop and see if we are headed anywhere we truly want to be.
Do we really want to be working several jobs "to make ends meet?" Do we really want to be always striving for more things... a "better" job, a "better" car, a "better" home. Any time we are forced to "slow-down" gives us the opportunity to reflect on what "better" truly is... Is better just a competition with the neighbors, or with our co-workers? Or is "better" what brings us more love, more joy, more feeling like everything is right in our world and in our heart?
I don't think anyone can truly say that everything is right in our world... after millennia of wars and conflict, the wars and conflict still exist. After centuries of hunger, it still exists. After all this time, inequality, injustice, inhumanity, still exist. Is this the world we want to live in? Is this the world we want to create? Is this the best we can do?
Covid-19 brought us the chance to pause, to reflect, and to ask "why"... why have we been living like this? Why have we felt so separate from other humans, from other countries and continents, and even from other counties or states in our own country?
Why is the world the way it is? Why are we polluting our Mother Earth or as they say in the military, "shitting in our mess kit". Why are we ruining the very home we live in? Why are we living with no concern for the tomorrow of the seven future generations? Why?
Covid-19 has brought us to realize that we are all connected. That what affects someone in China or in Italy, ultimately affects us as well, anywhere and everywhere on Planet Earth. Ultimately, as the internet has shown us, we are all connected. However, it is not just on an intellectual or informational level. We are connected viscerally, physically, and energetically. We are ONE. We are all together in this... on this planet, in this infection, in this infestation. And the infestation is not just about the virus... it is an infestation of anger, of hatred, of fear, of lack of love and compassion.
It's Not About the Past... It's About the Future
Asking why is not about blame. Yes, it is about realizing what brought us to where we are... but it's mostly about what needs to be done now, and in the future, to rectify the situation we are in. Realizing what needs to change and how.
So many in the USA, due to Covid, have now come to realize the importance of health care for everyone and of preparedness, by seeing what the lack of both has created. In other countries, where they do have free health care for all, they discovered that there were other situations that need revamping, that needed fixing, that needed to be re-evaluated and made better. And each country and each person has their own "why" to answer and to come to terms with.
Now is always a good time to question everything in our life, in our world, and ask why... why do we need this, why are we doing things this way, why does this need to change and how...
Since many have were forced into a "stay at home" situation with Covid, this presented a wonderful opportunity to do things differently, to reflect on what we want our future to look like, and what we need to do about it. We were gifted with a time to regroup, even while we were separated. To find common ground with our fellow humans, both in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and worldwide. Covid and other natural disasters offer an opportunity create a "new reality", a new world, one where we recognize our oneness, our connectedness, and adopt the Three Musketeers motto: "All for one, and one for all".
Random Acts of Kindness
by Dawna Markova.
Named a USA Today Best Bet for Educators, this is a book that encourages grace through the smallest gestures. The inspiration for the kindness movement, Random Acts of Kindness is an antidote for a weary world. Its true stories, thoughtful quotations, and suggestions for generosity inspire readers to live more compassionately in this beautiful new edition.
Info/Order this book. Also available as an audiobook.