-The advent of the new US
A famous American author once said,
“all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
It’s fascinating how life can turn upside down in a short amount of time. A few months back, life around the world was moving forward at its usual pace. No one was anticipating almost everything shutting down. But that is the condition of the world now. Destinations usually brimming with people are presenting a melancholic picture. People are forced to forgo their leisures in exchange for safety. Amidst all the gloom and doom, however, there is hope of a transformation of everything we hold dear, and ourselves too- the advent of the new us.
A microorganism that can only be seen with a million-dollar microscope has halted the movement of most human beings. Every aspect of human life, ranging from political to economic to social, is disrupted. The relationships that we took for granted have been upended, for a new world that is emerging. This pandemic has forced us to see life from a different perspective. It has given us a break from the regularity of life and has forced us to contemplate the essence of our being. To evaluate our preferences, choices, and decisions.
A few months back, I planned for everything that I was going to do in the upcoming years. This included the academic path I intend to pursue, the financial balance I crave, and new gadgets I believed necessary to enhance my pseudo-self-worth. It all came to a crashing stop, the result of a thing that cannot be seen, but currently lurks to find its new host. This abrupt stop has forced me to halt and see the desires and craving I felt before. It has propelled me to test the direction I felt certain was good for me and what about the advent of the new us.
I found that most of the things that I considered to be an absolute necessity, in pre-pandemic days, were strongly influenced by other people’s wishes and what society gives its unequal attention to: various fields, status, and aspirations. I’ve been thinking about my preferences, choices, and decisions. Things I felt more strongly about before our current health crisis are no longer what I want now. It has changed my perspective, in turn changing my decisions of who I want to be.
Previously, my life’s purpose was to pursue a career in transportation engineering with the over-arching goal of starting my own company. I had started to meet this goal by pinpointing the courses I would take and the university I would join. Then came the pandemic.
This abrupt stop to my normal routine has allowed me to read new literature, explore new ideas, and get involved in things that were dormant before.
Now, no longer enamored by the traditional paths set out before me, I no longer want things that I don’t feel completely passionate about. Witnessing the suffering of humanity and especially the poor, has initiated an abrupt change in my aspirations. I’m determined now to pursue a career in public service. The pursuit of service of humanity is the over-arching goal of my life now, not the pursuit of money. I’m hopeful for this life ahead, as Lori Deschene described,
“Life can still be beautiful, meaningful, fun, and fulfilling even if things don’t turn out the way you planned.”
It’s wonderful how an extremely small microorganism can change the course of one’s life.
There is always hope for the one who wishes to see the advent of the new us. A small silver lining here or there. A ray of bright light to cheer us up. After the pandemic is over, I’m sure that we will no longer be the same people we were and will experience the . We see this today in the experiences people are sharing with the world. People have started to realize the importance of relationships in their life. It’s my belief that post-pandemic days will be full of love, compassion, and joy. This break in our daily life has forced us to realize the things we took for granted.
The joys of life in small things. The lost time (hopefully) regained to spend with our loved ones. Relationships are finding new vitality. Families are being reunited. Passions are being discovered and that’s all about the advent of the new us.
Consequently, social interaction has transformed as well. Although the social distancing measures are bound to keep people from interacting the way they did before, it would be for the better. Surprisingly, there is a silver lining in the Coronavirus outbreak. It is the similarity of experience that everyone is facing during this lockdown. All people are united, which could easily result in a more connected and compassionate humanity emerging from this crisis.
The universality of this experience, the advent of the new us, has the potential to erase previous enmities and make people aware of what they are missing out on. There is a need to move forward with a deep-seated wish for a more compassionate humanity. This pandemic has shown us that the welfare of all is underpinned by the wellbeing of everyone. The world of tomorrow can be a beautiful one, better than the one behind us. Emergence of this new world will be underpinned by the transformation we are experiencing right now. It heralds a beautiful world to come.
As Catherine M. O’Meara wrote beautifully in her poem:
“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.
And 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.”
Also read about “A Walk In December”.