Like it or not we’re in this together

Things as they are…

There isn’t any toilet paper at my grocery store

We are living in unprecedented times. I don’t think any of us ever thought this is would be the “historic event” we we’re going to a part of when we thought of the notion. In the US, where I’m from we are dealing with shortages in items like I have never known. Going to the grocery store is starting to seem like a bit of a risky venture too.

Folks are pushing and clamoring to get more to hoard. None really know, or understand, what exactly their “me first” attitude means for everyone else. We have grown up’s acting like kids at a birthday party with a pinata over toilet paper of all things. The ridiculous lengths people are willing to go, to get more than they need, is almost sad. A feeding frenzy like behavior brought on by fear instead of actual lack.

image of a bare shelf after the school closure announcement due to COVID-19
This is a pic taken from the bread isle in my local grocery store

But why?

Why? Why are we dealing with fear on this scale? Some would say the gravity of the situation dictates a high level of response. Others think it’s the fault of weak government response or mismanaged resources, Other’s would say it’s due to the level of media coverage that we’re able to delve into the minutia of every detail of this event. In my opinion, the truth hovers somewhere among all of those. However, one undeniable place the blame can firmly rest… is on us.

We humans, especially those of us lucky enough to have been born in “civilized” nations of the world, have become accustomed to relative luxury. At this moment we are perceiving a threat to that luxury. So much so that some of us are going to great pains to gather all the things we associate with necessity. Are we actually facing serious lack? Well, yes we are, but not by the grave nature of the problem. Rather, we are facing a lack brought on by our own hands. The concept, as I have recently come to learn, is called ‘the tragedy of the commons’. In simplest terms a group all acting in their individual best interests depletes a shared resource and creates a dire situation for all. Total bummer right.

This is not a new occurrence, actually, it has been leveraged by people selling stuff for the majority of human history. The actual issue… big surprise… is human nature. We are so afraid and insecure of things changing that we will fight to maintain “the devil we know” for fear of the one we don’t. In this case “the devil” we don’t know is a world without toilet paper, presumably.

If you’re into podcasts check out our latest. In this one we hear from Nelli D, the Canadian half of The Unsual Buddha shenanigans, as she discusses her path as a hedge witch and how meditation ties into it.

What can we do? Open our eyes and practice.

How can we fix a problem that has been reinforced in us for all of human existence? By first acknowledging the fact that we are interconnected. This whole virus situation arose from someone eating bat soup in China. Talk about a butterfly effect. Someone picking something spicy from a menu in China has all the Karens of the western world screaming like Xena to horde all the toilet paper in sight. If that alone doesn’t highlight the fact of interconnection I don’t know what will.

Our actions big or small can effect the whole community around us, why not make the effect a positive one? Why can’t we inspire small moments of compassion? Something that is invaluable in this time of physical, not social, distancing is compassion. Keep in mind the less fortunate, those that have lost: loved ones, jobs, battles with chronic illness, or, people who couldn’t fight off a nasty virus.

Practices that can lead to a growth of this general compassion include, but are not limited to, Metta, Samatha, Vipassana, and you guessed it Mantra. Each practice has a different type of practitioner in mind. Metta builds compassion and empathy, Samatha builds calm, Vipassana builds focus on the body, and Mantra builds focus through the sounds we can make. For more click one of the links.

Hell something as simple as smiling to someone as your cars pass can help. Keep in mind every action, no matter how trivial it seems, can create a world changing reaction, let’s make it a good one.

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2 thoughts on “Interconnection

Add yours

  1. I like the article, your writing and the concept is beautiful and important but I don’t understand why you would use the judgmental and negative phrase “Karen’s” to lump a group of people together. It is offending to this particular Karen and contrary to the views of representing people for who they are without obnoxious labels. I don’t believe You would want to refer to any other group of people by lumping them under a title that oozes derogatory and a one size fits all label. Please be conscious that the words you use have a connotation beyond your pen. Our words create intention….. can build or destroy….using that label is destructive to women, women named karen and all of us who don’t want to be labelled.

    1. This article came out before the term was deemed derogatory. The term here is used as a means to make the reader envision a stereotype. No offense was meant to any particular person nor group of people. The statement was purely tongue in cheek. Thank you for taking the time to read it hopefully we have other pieces you’ll find agreeable. Thanks for your time

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