A Guest Post by James Graham
I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunity that the pandemic is providing us. A chance to remake ourselves as a species on this incredible shrinking earth. This piece by Marcelo Gleiser sums up my thinking well:
When the pandemic passes, I hope that instead of getting back to “normal” we take a close look at our endeavors—what we do all day. Who is it helping? Who is it hurting? Does it protect the earth for future generations?
If the pandemic teaches us anything, it’s that we are getting to be a tight knit human family here on earth, for better or for worse. Even our technological advances are having trouble keeping up with the problems, and in some cases exacerbating them. How we move forward from this “earth event” will mean everything to the future of the planet and our species.
Where I hear calls now to “all work together to get through this” I can’t help but wonder why that’s not always the call? I wonder if all the people struggling with having their kids around are thinking about how much childcare providers and teachers make for a living. I wonder how many of the people who are now faced without income and looking to the government to help were previously disparaging of the idea of tax money being used to help the poor and unemployed. I wonder about the ability of the free market to “deliver the goods” as always promised when our healthcare providers are woefully lacking in what they need to do their jobs.
As we take care of our families and neighbors and help each other survive, I hope we stay open to the possibility of balancing our self-interests with those of others regardless of religion, race, gender, or political choice, and most importantly balancing our self-interests with protecting the earth.