Coronavirus Through the Community Lens of Love Over Fear
<<An un-edited capture of recent thoughts on how Coronavirus is given my pause, to check my own energy, intentions and values.>>
Like many, I have had my fair share of conversations related to Coronavirus. Both its implications to my daily life and business endeavors. Most acutely, the events/gatherings I host and are supposed to participate in this week and coming weeks. And probably like you, I have seen many folks make their pronouncements and share their strong (if not forceful) opinions on Facebook (and elsewhere) about what the virus means to them. From “It’s just like the flu and you all are over-reacting” to “the media (them) has a political agenda behind all the news” to all those expressing, vulnerable their real fear like “what should I do?”
It got me thinking … what if we move the conversation from of Me v. We and from Fear to Love. More on this soon.
Then I got more curious around “What’s happening at the Social-Emotional” level in these statements and inquiries. It had me ask : What are my deeper intentions or insecurities being expressed. Which, gratefully, brought me right back to the work I care so much about. The work around open inquiry, authentic relating and meaningful connection first approach to how I show up.
What is really happening for someone (me or others) when we forcefully express an opinion and in such, are trying to convince others of that rightness? So I started to explore. At times I have noticed my own forceful moments thus asserting my opinion … and that embodied feeling if it not being right or very “connective”. So, it was time to inquire a bit deeper. And after a short meditation an insight came to me… or rather, through me. The simplest way to articulate it was from the Social Health angle: How can my mindset shift from effecting Me to what “We” are going to do about this as a community. As a society. As a local group of neighbors or aligned interest groups …or whatever your affiliation.
How does this affect “Me” to… what’s best and right for the “We”.
So much clarity rushed in when that question reframe came to light. Allow me to extrapolate based on common inquiries happening:
Inquiry/Statement 1: What is my (my family’s) the health risk ? If you are healthy, under 50 and without any acute respiratory issues: Answer: very little. So one when then conclude…Ok. “ I “ am safe. “My” children are safe. Just another flu. Life is normal.
If you look at the “WE” we ask a different question. How are my actions, interactions … affecting others. Seniors at risk (my mother who passed away recently would have been at very very high risk); Or women who are pregnant (like my wife currently) that if high fever hits, miscarriage risk is high are a few I have taken into consideration of late. What do we (and I) do to protect them? How do I make decisions through that lens?
Inquiry 2 Statement 2: Should I travel on a plane and/or attend an event? If we come from the “I” question, we ask: “Ok what’s really the chance that I will catch this and if I do, is it a big deal”? The answer would be “low”. At least as far as we can tell right now (and that too may change). And not a big deal for you if you catch it.
From a “We” question of what will happen if We all take this approach? It reminds me of the conversation around why “your dog” is not allowed in our community kids park or restaurants. Even if it’s very kid friendly and very well trained. Answer: because if everyone did that, we would have dogs all over the place. Parents not feeling safe with kids (and possible dogs chasing/biting) running around let alone what they are crawling in/on. And in restaurants, we’d be over the top with dogs everywhere. Most of us like me adore dogs. Yet, the ethical questions seem to get more clear answers when we ask what is the “We” answer for all of us as part of a community.
So as it relates to CV, I think you can follow the thread.
If we all continue to go out, travel, be in large and small groups then we/I exponentially expand the risk of spread. And spreading without a vaccine or cure is very bad news for those at risk. 300 – 600 percent more likely to cause death than the worse flu. If you look at 100 years ago when 50-100 Million died after WWI mostly b/c the soldiers coming home from war, and how little travel was possible… We can have a small glimpse of what could happen when we operate “business as usual”. To be clear, this virus is not as deadly… rather, the spread of it infinitely higher than anything we have seen, especially when compared to recent swine and bird flu.
<Personal Disclosure: Candidly, as I write this, I am contemplating seeing a few friends and colleagues who are attending an international event. So I understand the draw to want to live life without disruption. Even more so for me, to be in connection with others (the hardest part is not hugging folks!). And wanting to be in community. Something, as many know, I am passionate about. Hence, I am not trying to say don’t go out, do not travel or do not do your yoga class. Rather, can ask your question with the others in your greater community in mind.
Inquiry/Statement 3: This all just fear based. Stop the fear. Stop over-reacting. Stop the fear mongering. From the “I” this gets very interesting. Yes too much fear reaction is happening. So this statement feels right. And yes, when you read all the articles, watch the news ,.. You create a state of over-reaction.
Here is where it gets VERY interesting. Take a second and notice the energy you have if you find yourself saying these things publicly or privately to yourself. Do you feel calm and grounded. Or do you feel agitated, annoyed, a little angry or ….. Yes… you know what I am about to write… Do you feel FEAR? Fear of those spreading the Fear. Creating more fear in you? It’s a doozy, but for those of us that make a career or hobby out of recognizing, Fear states v. love emotional states of being, it’s very clear how many of us (not all), are coming from that fear state. Regardless of which side of the argument we are on. Myself included.
Insights from Societies that Value Community over the Individual
When Japan closes schools for a month and Italy does the same thing. We must ask why?
Are they over-reacting? What’s different about their situation? They are highly westernized, modern, clean environments (aka not China). More than the US in most cases.
It’s because they are asking the questions through the community or societal lens. They care more about those at risk (without a cure yet), the greater societal spread and all its implications. Versus the financial, stock market or business implications. Although I am sure they covered that as a big part of their consideration.
They both are countries with very high community intelligence. They understand and live by very communal belief systems (v. the US with very individualistic “My rights” first beliefs). And they are a very good example of community first. And a possible glimpse into the future as they are a few weeks ahead on the trajectory and testing. Especially what might be coming, if we all don’t take our own steps to serve the greater good of “US”.
They closed schools and many other group activities to protect the community.
Finally, I wonder aloud… What will be our community response for the greater “We”… and what is my role in that response. How can you support that with an open heart? Removing the fearful cycle of reactions? From a state of LOVE (over FEAR). A place that is grounded, centered to serve US as a local and global community.
Can we start the conversation from a place of Love and see what emerges?