“As the World Turns” is the name of a soap opera my mother watched when I was young. The words keep running through my head as each moment seems to bring new, and sometimes conflicting, information on the coronavirus.
I’m also with these words which seem to be controversial as to origin, but certainly fit what is needed right now as we recognize boundaries are fluid.
Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Yesterday I saw my neighbor – no hug – no hugging meditation as Thich Nhat Hanh describes it. We kept our distance as we spoke. Then, I met a friend for lunch, against my son’s advice, and we walked toward each other, arms spread, but then, stopped at a distance.
Another friend tells me she received an email notice that employees won’t be allowed in the office from now until May 31st. Last week, near her office in San Francisco, two people got in a fist fight because one person sneezed and didn’t cover his nose. Well, that was really smart but people are afraid. The times are unprecedented. We have global news and interaction, and yet, right now, it feels like we live isolated in a village of fear.
I sit with the changes we’re seeing. Office buildings have been cramming more and more people into smaller and smaller spaces, concluding that people with laptops don’t need their own desk. File cabinets no longer take up space, so people can come in and sit down at a row of counters and work.
It sounds plausible until now. What will happen when those who’ve been working from home are told they can come back into work? Will that happen?
I read that social distancing is the answer to stopping the spread of the virus, and that this is an Introvert’s dream, but I’m an introvert, and suddenly I want to be out and about. I want to see other people, touch them, physically touch them, not meet on Facetime or Zoom.
And that brings me to laughter. Laughter is a gift, and if we step back and view ourselves on this planet that is spinning and turning, well, perhaps there, we meet this moment with a little space, and choose our response with grace.