Wisdom in times of Coronavirus

In these dark times, in which a small virus is putting our economies and societies against the cords, I would like to share these deep reflections from the Italian psychologist Raffaele Morelli (Original text in Italian). No need to add more words as the text speaks for itself.

I think the universe has its way of restoring things to equilibrium according to its own laws, when they are altered. The times we are living, full of paradoxes, give food for thought….

In an era in which climate change is reaching worrisome levels due to the natural disasters that are taking place, first China then many other countries are forced to blockade; the economy collapses, but pollution drops considerably. The quality of the air we breathe improves, we wear masks, but we still breathe…. 

At a historical moment in which certain discriminatory policies and ideologies, with strong claims to a shameful past, are reemerging throughout the world, a virus appears that makes us experience that, in the blink of an eye, we can become the ones discriminated against, those who are not allowed to cross the border, those who transmit disease. Still not having any fault, even being white, Western, and with all kinds of cheap luxuries within our reach. 

In a society that is based on productivity and consumption, in which we all run fourteen hours a day chasing we do not know very well what, without rest, without pause, suddenly we are forced to stop. Still, at home, day after day. To count the hours of a time to which we have lost the value if it is not measured in remuneration of some kind, in money. Do we still know how to use our time without a specific purpose? 

At a time when parenting, for greater reasons, is often delegated to other figures and institutions, the coronavirus forces schools to close and forces us to seek alternative solutions, to put Mom and Dad back together with the children themselves. It forces us to become family again.
 In a dimension in which interpersonal relationships, communication, socialization, are carried out in the (non) virtual space, of social networks, giving us the false illusion of closeness, this virus takes away from us true, real proximity: no one touches, kisses, hugs; everything must be done at a distance, in the coldness of the absence of contact. How much have we taken for granted these gestures and their meaning?

In a social phase in which thinking about oneself has become the norm, this virus sends us a clear message: the only way to get out of this is to respond by reemerging in us the feeling of helping others, of belonging to a collective, of being part of something bigger to be responsible for, and that in turn is responsible for us. Coresponsibility: feeling that your actions depend on the fate of those around you and that you depend on them. 

Let’s stop looking for culprits or wondering why this has happened, and start thinking about what we can learn from all of it. We all have a lot to reflect on and strive for. With the universe and its laws it seems that humanity is already quite indebted and that this epidemic is coming to explain it to us, at an expensive price.

R. Morelli


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