Sunday, March 29, 2020

Not Alone

What’s one of the hardest things about our personal sorrows? The fact that they’re personal and we think that only we suffer in this way. That to attract some empathy, we have to explain what’s going on to someone who is not experiencing what we are and so has difficulty wholly understanding (or caring about) what we’re going through.  We feel that everyone is having a Pepsi moment except us. And so in our sense of aloneness, our suffering increases. 

But not now. It’s really extraordinary how many people are having the same experience right now and though, yes, it’s different depending on how many people are in your house, what kind of people are in your house, whether or not you’re actually in a house. But mostly we are all having the same foundational experience of feeling confined, worried about sickness/ money/ job security, off of our game, uncertain when or how (or for some, if) it will end. 

And that means we’re not alone. There are thousands of ways to suffer—sickness, loss, difficult relationships, mental imbalances, diet issues, feeling the victim of social injustice, taught to hate other people, drug and alcohol problems, learning differences, money troubles—shall I go on? It takes imagination on our part, especially in our have-a-nice-day culture, to realize that we are all the walking wounded, we are all broken in some way hoping for healing, we are none of us escaping the dues of a human incarnation. Didn’t Buddha tell us that in the first noble truth—Life is suffering?

But now we don’t have to imagine quite so wide and deep to understand that we’re all in the muck and mire of this unprecedented pandemic. Accent ALL. All political persuasions, religions, sexual orientations, economic status, nations, the whole sorry lot of minor differences that divide us so needlessly and deeply, none of it matters now. Please, friends, let’s use this opportunity to learn from this. And the simple moral is…

We are not alone. 

We are not alone. 

We are not alone. 

We are not alone.

We are not alone. 


Whatever word you accent, the truth is there. Let’s remember this when the doors re-open.

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