Everything is always up for grabs…
Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
There is a tendency for living things to join up, establish linkages, live inside each other, return to earlier arrangements, get along
wherever possible. This is the way of the world….
The whole dear notion of one’s own self – marvelous old
free-willed, free-enterprising, autonomous, independent,
isolated island of a Self – is a myth.
While the Coronavirus world we find ourselves in today has been depicted in ‘edge of dystopia’ fiction, who among us would have imagined us in this place just three short months ago? We tend to hunker down in the comfort of our daily routines during ‘business as usual’ times, forgetting that what we are experiencing as reality is just one of many possible scenarios. Catalysts for change may not be recognizable in advance, and the changes to new norms may be abrupt and jarring.
What does not change is our reliance on community. One large misinterpretation of evolution is the notion that social Darwinism (survival of the fittest) refers to individual strength as adaptive behavior. Nothing could be farther from the truth and this misunderstanding leads to much of the suffering in the world. It is perhaps peculiar to western culture to ascribe to the belief that the ‘fittest’ refers to individuals rather than to our species as a whole. S/he who dies with the most toys does not win. We win when we cooperate and share both the bounty and the scarcity. Adaptation is a group endeavor. Selection willing, we will adapt to this new challenge and survive.
There is a notable irony in our current challenge. In community lies strength, one being the loneliest number, but our need to connect with fellow humans today is thwarted by social distancing. Some of us have the advantage of access to advanced technology tools for virtual connection to partially bridge this gap, but there are a lot of lonely folks out there who need community and lack these tools. There’s always hard copy and the good old-fashioned telephone. Reach out and touch someone today. We will reconvene in physical reality on the other side.