The world is quiet this week. The world is afraid.
As the swiftly spreading novel coronavirus moves around the globe, people on every continent are falling ill. Thousands are dying.
And hundreds of millions are huddled in our homes, waiting to see what will happen next. Schools are closed, and most of those who are still working are doing so from home.
I recently spoke to friends and families around the world, asking about what was happening in their home countries. What I found was that we’re all experiencing the same things. The same fears and frustrations are being shared in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Kuwait and Iran.
I’m sure the same can be said for all of the other countries now struggling with the virus. There are so many economic and social pressures on everyone, everywhere!!
But that’s not what makes me feel sad.
What drags my spirit down is when I hear the language that our leaders use when they try to encourage us. They say things like “Keep your chin up” and “We’ll get through this together.”
Then they always add a geographic addition. They say, “We can do this because the people of Boston are so special!” Or, “I know that New Yorkers are brave and strong!” I hear, “Americans are resilient.” “The people of California will prevail.”
I yearn for the moment when some world leader, somewhere, says, “Human beings will reach out to each other in our time of need. We will share our resources, our expertise and our knowledge. We understand that we are all afraid right now, and that for once we all face the exact same enemy.”
I want to hear someone say, “Humanity is resilient. Now is the time for every human to help the species. Now is the time for unselfish dedication to the recovery of the world.”
Maybe that way, when the new craziness goes away and the old craziness returns, we’ll have learned some lessons.
Maybe we’ll be able to do it better next time.