As you know, Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and with most of our nation still in lockdown, many Americans remain fearful of the virus and/or its consequences. Meanwhile, others are questioning the validity of the whole ordeal. We live in a strange time, for sure.
Whether it’s a hoax or the threat as it’s made out to be remains uncertain. With so many conflicting opinions and theories flying around—in the media and otherwise, it’s very difficult—if not impossible, to separate fact from fiction.
The inability to discern truth from untruth is disturbing in itself, isn’t it? It causes us to admit that some things are out of our control. However, even in harrowing times such as this, many things remain in our control, and I would like to encourage you to focus on those, and act upon them.
Looking back over the last several weeks, one thing that has become obvious is the lack of resilience—of forgiveness—in modern societies. Here’s a list of vulnerabilities I can think of off the top of my head:
- Global trade. Although it may seem efficient from the viewpoint of product economy and cheap labor, when crisis came and borders close, it paralyzed us to the point of panic because of seeming lack of essential product (such as toilet paper, face masks, etc.). In the good times imports seem to make sense, but as we’ve seen, bring on a catastrophe, and we’re up-the-creek-without-a-paddle due to a lack of domestic product. What’s more, global trade encourages transcontinental travel which been one of the foremost vehicles spreading Covid-19. If ever there was a time to boycott foreign products, it’s now.
- The physical health of society appeared upbeat and stable when viewed from average life expectancy and resuscitation ability compared to historic times, but in this crisis we’re obviously a sickly culture. Rampant antibiotic use, unchecked child vaccination, abominable diets, and little or no knowledge of natural/herbal medicine has made us extremely vulnerable. What’s more, many Americans have zero awareness of natural immune boosters that are readily available and relatively risk-free. We’ve become a go-to-the-doctor-and-ask-for-an-antibiotic-for-every-sniffle society. That, my friends, is not resilience, and has made the threat of an overwhelmed medical system in this pandemic very real.
- With homes largely being a mere launch pad for life in recent years, we‘re now forced to stay at home with our families. This is creating relational tension in many homes because we simply don’t know how to live together anymore. Americans have become so individualized and introverted that many no longer know how to relate to one another in the same space for a prolonged period of time. We think of ourselves as independent, but as a rule, our society has become a hyper-ego-dependent civilization that revolves around ME. True independence values interdependent relationships, and such interdependence requires forgiveness in order to have meaningful relationships, and the resilience human resources bring to our lives.
- The status quo food distribution grid. When the food supply chain depends on timely arrival of a truck to food retailers—who at best keep a week’s worth of inventory, all it takes is a supposed hiccup in our ability to shop and we have panic and hoarding, and an overwhelm of the extremely fragile supply chain. Plus, with meat production, for example, being in the hands of only a few corporate processors, who now shutter their east-coast processing plants (JBS, Tyson, and Hatfield) because their employees choose to not work during the pandemic, availability will likely be in jeopardy for an extended time, causing the demise—and total waste—of many food animals due to the lack of processing labor. To me, this doesn’t portray a forgiving system. Efficient when the good times roll, but very unstable in a crisis.
- No in-home larder. For decades and centuries, people stored food in and around their home, until recently. Food acquisition, historically, was not an every-several-days event. But with a supermarket or grocery in every town and region carrying endless ready-to-eat foods, food purchasing has become a short term, impulse oriented undertaking. We live in a land of plenty, but where’s the abundance? Not in our homes or even in our local supermarket. It’s locked up in warehouses, inaccessible to you and I other than via the current distribution grid. Fortunately, this pandemic didn’t completely shut down the food network, allowing at least temporary forgiveness for our culture’s short-sightedness. Food from an available, trustworthy source has suddenly become more important than money or entertainment.
- Living paycheck to paycheck. Never before has a society been so indebted while having no cash on hand. Sadly, this shutdown is jeopardizing many a paycheck, and many a dream of success. I speak to myself on this subject, because we too, are deeply indebted, and realize that debt service, for us and many others, is based on regular pay and a good economy. Maybe frugality and living within our means aren’t outdated after all.
Building resilience and forgiveness into our physical lives often requires sacrifice—at least temporarily. It’s a truth in this world that in order to have one thing we often need to forfeit something else. As the old adage says; you can’t have your cake and eat it. This is true not only physically, but even more so spiritually. “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” Mahatma Gandhi
This Easter season, let’s remember the Ultimate Sacrifice, the supreme act of redemption and forgiveness, and the God who made it all possible. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. ~ Ephesians 1:7 And that’s the View from the Country.