My world was shaken. The foundations I had thought secure were no longer holding me afloat. And as I sat amidst the rubble of the old way of ordering my life, I read a post that asked the question, “What does this make possible?” New opportunities? The idea seemed preposterous. 

“I’m still trying to find my way amidst all this rubble!” I thought indignantly. Stories of financial and emotional strain surfaced regularly. I was re-orienting to kids and to us parents always at home and to many social and sports activities discontinued.

But the idea of opportunity haunted my thoughts. Are there new opportunities during the Covid-19 pandemic? For some, certainly. Online meeting platforms seem ready for their day in the sun as everything from churches, weddings and a casual “virtual dinner” (we are trying out this week) are hosted online.  

Are there opportunities for a healthier culture to emerge as well?

Certainly we see the rise in the good neighbour effect, as people reach out in droves to meet the needs of the elderly and of those with compromised immune systems. This is a healthy development for a culture criticized as intensely individualistic. Are our eyes being opened to our mutual need for each other, perhaps?

Do we take self-sacrifice for granted at times? Despite sobering statistics of health care workers infected on the job with Covid-19, myriad show up for essential service work in BC every day. Now is a time to pause, reflect and appreciate what is regularly given for us. 

The biggest growth opportunity for me has perhaps been a growing recognition that I am not as in control of my life circumstances as I usually feel. This is a sobering, but corrective and accurate thought for someone living in a first world nation, where piles of beautifully coloured foods from every corner of the globe are regularly displayed in the local supermarket. 

There are many billions of people in the third world who more frequently live with insecurity: thriving or troubled economy, work or no work, life and death. Is there an opportunity here for us to grow in empathy for our fellow humans in the third world? Can I also grow in empathy for those less fortunate in my community? Perhaps.  

I wonder what other opportunities for growth this time affords.

Who would have believed that such an infinitely complex global society could change so profoundly in a few weeks? Similarly, what opportunities could the global response to the coronavirus unearth for the necessary transition to renewable energy? 

What are you learning in such a time as this? Share your thoughts during EcoSociety’s nightly Zoom call at 7:00 pm or in our Facebook group to fuel the discussion as, together, we open our eyes to see. Let’s not waste the lessons. 

Lori Lawe is an EcoSociety member who loves to pitch in wherever necessary to increase awareness of climate solutions. She is a past EcoSociety board member with a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management. She enjoys communing with God in creation, baking sourdough bread, and homeschooling in Rossland, BC. The photo shows Lori and her children volunteering at one of our booths back when such a thing was possible!