From prehistoric life to the Roman Empire, from Medieval times to the Renaissance and the industrial revolution, beyond two world wars, countless revolutions, and scores of natural disasters, the human race has carried on. We might still be a mess in some areas, but we are resilient.
I’ve seen a lot of doom and gloom posts out in Internet Land lately. And at the risk of sounding insensitive to our current crisis, I want to tell you NOT to listen to them. Through all of the history loosely summarized above we’ve learned that we can survive, even come out somewhere ahead. Our current struggle is not the end of anything, in fact, it might even be the beginning of great things.
I’ve always found that the places in my life where I’ve learned or grown the most was during struggle or pain. We humans hate pain, we’ll do anything to make it better. Which leads me to the point that this pain we are in right now just might lead us to solutions, growth, and goodness that we never might have known otherwise. Well that’s what I’m praying and hoping for anyway. A good to rise from the bad. Let’s just project a few positive things: what if, beyond this pandemic, our governments focus more resources on medicine and healthcare, on unemployment and social development? What if their energies are turned to better protecting the future of this planet through the realization that things are not always in their control? What if they took more steps toward preparing our world for the unexpected? What if this crisis is a huge lesson in connectedness? What if it gives the world a common goal to draw together against and results in global friendships that are strong enough to one day curb wars and bring peace?
I know, I know, I hear the arguments rising; that will never happen, people are too greedy, too selfish, it’s an all for one world not a one for all. And you might be right, but maybe by constantly pointing that out, we perpetuate the greedy selfishness by giving it license. What if we simply spoke the opposite all the time? What if we said people are good, kind, and self sacrificing? What would happen if that’s what our children heard daily, would goodness rise from that? I think so.
We all know the power of positive thinking, mental health specialists teach people with anxiety disorders to combat negative intrusive thoughts with opposite thought patterns—good thought patterns, and I’ve seen this kind of training change people’s lives. What if that was applied globally? What if we took every horror the world has and will face and applied positive combat to it? Would something change?
I might be just blowing hot utopian air now, but either way I’m gonna quote my favourite character, Puddleglum, from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia:
“One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it.”