Remember Tupac’s “Changes”? I still love this song.
We’ve seen that it has been just a matter of weeks that our world has changed into a new one. The world isn’t the same anymore and there’s much uncertainty we need to deal with. It all seems quite surreal, but this is our new reality.
What strikes me most these days is that we are caught up by a health crisis that made governments decide which seemed impossible before: airplanes stay at the ground; traffic has been restricted dramatically; borders were closed; people stay home and can’t shop anymore, only to buy the most necessary; private rooms have become little home offices; schools are empty. Severe measures were taken which have resulted in an unusual world where speed and busyness no longer exist. Suddenly we are forced “to be”.
Stillness lives in city streets and the wild is seen in places which are usually occupied by human activities: dolphins in the waters of Venice and wild horses in the streets of Sarajevo.
The fact that the health of our planet is suffering, that we breathe polluted air that kills us, that wild life slowly dies and that we see forests and its inhabitants devoured by ferocious flames, are no urgent reasons for our political leaders and for us, world citizens, to massively reconsider our choices, to make pressing regulations and to slow down for a change. This health crisis is an immediate threat to humans, whilst apparently the climate crisis isn’t; we don’t see the effects in our daily lives. But this could be — again — a new reality in the future to come.
Obviously, these weeks are about human fragility. We are fragile, but so are our systems — health, food, economy, livelihood. Let’s use this time to re-think and contemplate humanity. It’s a beautiful chance for everyone, isn’t it?
Yesterday morning I was pulled over by the policia local on my way to the eco centre “Centre de Resiliència Mallorca”, which we are developing with a few friends. I was on my bicycle and they said I wasn’t allowed to cycle. “Don’t you have a car?”, one of the police officers asked me. “Well, no I haven’t, this is my way of transport,” I answered him. I felt a bit intimidated and showed them the authorisation and my passport I carried in my bag. The police officer read it carefully and I was allowed to continue my journey.
The night before I slept terribly bad and a sudden fear got hold on me. I felt total chaos and my head was spinning with so many thoughts and worries. In general, I have never been a really stressed person, but somehow a sleepless night has the power to change me into a fearful human during these dark hours. In my dreams I received a message from my deceased father which he had written on his typewriter. It was a piece of paper telling me that we must wait. With a date on it. Not sure who are “we”, my family or all the people?
When I was cycling on the calm caminos and looked around me, I noticed not much of a difference with some days before, but yet it was a total new world I had encountered. After the police stopped me, I thought of the war-books I had read and the stories of my mum about my grandmother on the hunt for food in times of occupation and danger. Of course these were different times, but somehow it crossed my mind and tears welled up in my eyes. The whole day I felt emotional and thought about the people around me and the impact of this crisis on their lives. Imagine if even worse things will happen…
We are so fragile and we are so comfortable with our lives. I see this health crisis as a test, even as a warning of Mother Earth, The Universe, God or how you call it. It’s nature’s way of saying “enough”. This ego-driven world can’t continue the way it does.
The systems which we have created together, need to change. It makes sense to start community-gardens, to learn about growing our own food or, if you can’t, to make connections with local farmers or shops which sell their products. The huge dependence on supermarkets isn’t a healthy system. It makes sense to become self-sustainable and to build communities, we can’t do it all on our own. This doesn’t mean that viruses won’t kill us, but it makes us less fragile when we need to live through even bigger crises. It makes sense to become resilient beings.
“We gotta make a change
It’s time for us as a people to start making some changes
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live
And let’s change the way we treat each other
You see the old way wasn’t working
So it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive.” ~ Tupac Shakur
Let’s use this time to re-think and contemplate humanity.
Make the best of these weeks at home. I received a sweet message of a friend who said she feels quite calm and happy, as she spends more time with her little daughter now…this busy bee could finally slow down. Maybe we will miss these days when this is all over.
My thoughts are going to the heroes and heroines out there, who are caring for the vulnerable and the sick with so much dedication. Be safe.
Con Amor, Eva