Hope for a better world

Ten Blessings of this Pandemic

by Cynthia Greb

If we can just set aside our fear for a few moments, there really are so many gifts and blessings in the midst of this coronavirus phenomenon.

1. It truly could be worse. If there were massive floods or tsunamis or hurricanes or whatever, we wouldn’t have water, food, electricity, or shelter. But we do! (Most of us.)

2. If it were a nuclear disaster, going outside would be very dangerous. But social isolation doesn’t preclude stepping outside the door and breathing some fresh air, basking in the sunshine, listening to the birds, etc. We are really blessed that we can still be in nature, not only without harm to ourselves, but with all the healing energy that Nature brings.

3. Speaking of birds, isn’t it beautiful to see the swans swimming on the canals of Venice, and the dolphins and fish returning? We humans and our boats and cars and planes can sometimes interfere quite a lot with the lives of animals. It’s nice when we can step back for a little while and let them have their day in the sun!

4. Speaking of which, even more exciting is the news that the skies are clearing up so dramatically over China and Italy. How wonderful to shut down the factories for a while and curb the use of our vehicles and our planes. What a blessing for this poor beleaguered Earth. How extraordinary to breathe such fresh air!

5. The blessing about social isolation is that we get to slow the heck down for a while. Most of us in the so-called “civilized world” have been rushing around for way too long trying to do way too much. That kind of life is not conducive to either inner peace or health. But now we are being “forced” to stop going to so many places, events, and activities. We truly were way out of balance before. It’s really good for us to be still for a while. (Now if we could only learn to be still without the constant distraction of our electronic devices!)

6. Aside from the craziness of the shopping frenzy in the grocery stores and the toilet paper aisles, with the closing down of many stores and restaurants, we are perhaps learning to not be such “constant consumers.” It’s good for us to learn not to buy expensive coffees every morning, eat out so often, and feed the holes in our lonely lives with excessive shopping. This world is so much more than buying stuff!

7. Our dear dogs don’t have to be alone for hours and hours and hours at a time, feeling lonely and trying to hold their bladders until we finally get home. A dog’s purpose is to love us and guard us, and they can’t do that when we’re away.

8. Maybe, just maybe, by staying tucked away secluded in our homes for so long, when this thing finally passes and we get to be with one another again, there will be a whole different level of appreciation for one another. Maybe we will really begin to realize what a blessing it is to have people in our lives. (Cue Barbra Streisand: “People. People who need people….”)

9. We are learning, finally, that we are all interdependent. What effects one person, one city, one country affects us all. We are all so connected. May we learn the importance of helping one another.

10. Spiritual teachers and wise ones talk about the importance of being silent, of being still, of meditating, praying, cultivating an inner world. We finally have lots of time for that! Maybe now we can develop our spiritual practices. It’s certainly good for the soul. And our souls have been starved for attention.

Let’s take advantage of this time. Let’s delve into the kinds of things we didn’t have time for before. Let’s make good meals, read good books, play games with our families, pet our dogs and cats, take an online course, luxuriate in a bath, make love, pray….

We could actually learn from this and start to make different choices. We could use this pandemic as a jumping board for a new and better world.

Take care of one another and be well. May all beings be blessed.