Tag Archives: pandemic

Unclog the Drain

“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”    —Dalai Lama

A country cowering in the corner of a storm drain and hiding from the impending hurricane by practicing almost unfathomable acts of social irresponsibility and shortsighted selfishness is a nation ripe for ridicule and condemnation by its global neighbors.

Sadly, the current pandemic is merely the pinpoint tip of an iceberg with titanic frozen roots, sitting at a depth scraping the seabed. Placing every pressing issue in the back seat of a brakeless car fueled by a narrow focus on some imaginary, concocted finish line—solely to benefit personal desires or ambitions—is beyond dangerous. It’s deadly.

We are reluctantly reaping what we’ve sown, regretting our batch and wishing we buried a different seed. But this toxic crop is precisely what we deserve, and the consequences of our actions have taken the shape of daily force-fed attrition.

Diseased, tortured Frankensteinian animals mass-produced as sustenance and left alone to rot in cages. Stock market manipulation to pack the pockets of people least deserving of the spoils. Blatant refusal to don masks at the expense of vulnerable elderly lungs desperately trying to survive a cloud of venomous vapor.

Every individual act of toe-shooting defiance is just a bullet in the head of the greater good.

Maybe you’ll be rescued by a vaccine. Maybe you won’t.

But patterns played out over time eventually lead to concrete, unchangeable results. If we continue to walk a path of least resistance—protecting our self-interests above those of the collective—and stunt the organic flow of nature’s blueprint, we will be met with far fiercer foes than coronaviruses.

We are not left without choice or free will, so selecting selfishness above selflessness is an insensitive slap in the face of humanity.

There will be debts to pay tomorrow for what is spent today.

Adolescence Interrupted

A Generation Modified

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”    —Jiddu Krishnamurti

Life locked behind windows and doors.

A new reality. A new planet. A new challenge.

An opportunity to do it right this time.

Developing minds are being asked to trade outside stimuli and ordinary social interactions for a brief glimpse at grandma on a small, shaking screen or distracted learning from remote educators saddled with unfair expectations and dwindling patience for throwing blindfolded darts at moving targets.

Still, the anti-quarantine protests and a deadly desire to dive back into “normal” life dominate the headlines. If we were all in mutual agreement with some widely accepted notion that the world we constructed was normal, I think it’s time for a better blueprint.

The growing chasm of wealth disparity is threatening to hobble established empires, the planet’s resources are irresponsibly plundered to fill the coffers of selfishly shortsighted puppet masters of profit, and we remain numb to the impending downfall by affixing our eyeballs to screens that constantly, cleverly administer just enough dope (and dopamine) to keep us begging for the chance to be repeat customers.

But there is hope. The next generation has a bullshit detector the likes of which we’ve never seen, and it won’t bow at the altar of blind acquiescence. It is deeply feeling the effects of this pandemic, and that code is being imprinted and branded on impressionable, malleable mental motherboards. Lessons for the future are being ingested in the present.

Those in power better seize this final opportunity to blatantly misallocate vital financial resources, sacrifice the sick who are too scared, too poor, or too alone to save themselves, and take one last lap around that privileged scotch circle. Your cigar-stained fingers are raising a glass in celebration of your own demise.

Adolescence Interrupted

Scales Without Balance

“If we think of life as a kind of Olympic games, some of life’s crises are sprints. They require maximum emotional concentration for a short time. Then they are over, and life returns to normal. But other crises are distance events. They ask us to maintain our concentration over a much longer period of time, and that can be a lot harder.”                                                                                                    —Harold S. Kushner

I am deeply troubled these days. I’m blinded by unjust suffering on a global scale and I watch the escalating pain of family and friends from a very personal perspective.

How did our calibration fall so far out of balance? Why must genuinely sweet souls be forced to endure sustained agony while those with evil, black hearts are permitted to swim free in a sea of avarice and insensitivity?

I will never understand the fundamental human hardwiring that values greed and excess over common decency and the general welfare of others. It is a pandemic virus without a cure, and it’s systematically infecting our brains with frightening speed and alarming accuracy.

So…why do bad things happen to good people? Is there really no karmic system in place to level the playing field? Is everything simply randomized chaos without even the hint of some justified cause or effect?

This nightmarish scenario certainly frames society in a context that would cause the vast majority to squirm in their seats, and that’s not even taking into account the titanic religious implications in the lives of those who truly believe there is a grand master plan at play.

As hard as it might be to wrap your head around the fact that we’ll probably not get to the roots of the “meaning of life” debate during this short post, it’s worth considering that our own backyards are the only ones we can clean, and acts of kindness and generosity can easily be distributed one day (and to one person) at a time.

Your pain is never as severe as someone else’s. Your financial situation is never as dire. But your success is never as impressive, and your status is merely an illusion devised by your artificially-inflated ego.

Take a step back and take a step down. We are forgoing a sense of community and compassion at a disturbingly breakneck pace. It might be wise to take stock of what’s truly important…before it’s all lost.

Adolescence Interrupted