With recent news of the already-struggling United States Postal Service beginning to show signs of collapse due to the unpredicted decline in usage and the fed’s refusal to intervene with emergency resources, citizens are taking it upon themselves to flood the coffers of the postal service by mass-purchasing stamps and supplies.
Think about that. A citizenry looks to its government to protect a cherished and necessary institution but is met with rejection and disappointment. So what do they do? They become the solution they were seeking. They flood the USPS with purchases and at least manage to alleviate some measure of strain from a struggling infrastructure.
And who can stop them?
No one. Not really.
And who can join them?
You can. I can. All of us can.
What an inspirational reminder, that even when robbed of our sense of normalcy, we do not lose our ability to respond to these unexpected moments with the same courage that humans have been mustering for thousands of years.
We belong to an ancient species, not to modernity.
We aren’t the future. We are extended branches of the past, reaching forward.
I think that right now would be a great time to remember our true place, because "alone" is something we are not, even when no one else is around.
Vantage is Advantage (from a certain point of view)
No matter who you are, even on our most difficult days, we are all standing a little higher above the waterline because of the advances made by our ancestors.
This is not the most difficult moment humanity has ever faced, but it is our moment to occupy, to survive, and to learn from. Looking forward from here, epigenetics tells us that how we make sense of this moment has the power to influence future generations, so it actually matters that we do better than simply respond with fear. We need to make sense of this, deep within ourselves, to find meaning and purpose in the midst of this perceived chaos.
Looking backward, the inherited wisdom and courage of a thousand ancestors who have gone before is flowing through your veins. It fuels your instincts, informs your art, and contributes to your particular shape in the world. Lean into that, if only in your imagination.
Even if you don’t know where you come from, if you lack a sense of heritage and feel generationally lost, like I sometimes feel, you are still here, and their wisdom—whomever they are—is in you. You are the offspring of genetic winners. No matter how your enemies may cut you down or degrade you... you made it to the same historical moment that they did, and it's high-time you allowed yourself to be impressed by that.
Swords into Plowshares
We aren’t merely the recipients of a legacy, we have the responsibility to act as participants in birthing one. Whether you noticed or not, no one else is "handling this" for us. In the United States of America (where I am located), trillion dollar security infrastructure—consisting of tanks and aircraft carriers and laser-guided missiles—could not stop what wafted through the front window on an afternoon breeze. Now that it's here, we find that human ingenuity and resourcefulness, not government and all of its big, noisy gears, ultimately wins the day.
For every person I know, how this plays out matters like nothing has in a very long time.
Many of the gaping cracks in our global infrastructure have been laid bare by this pandemic. That's usually how it happens. Thankfully, innovation commonly follows suffering of this kind.
Unfortunately, so does trauma.
With entire economies dangling in the balance, a mounting loss of life, and no clear sign about when the end will appear, it's easy to understand why this sort of societal upheaval is already causing many of us to suffer in silence. There's a lot riding on this moment, for every single one of us.
When all is said and done, I believe that putting aside our differences, laying down our grudges and divisions, forgiving one another, and resolving to make the necessary personal sacrifices required to help the group will prove to be the most advanced thing any single person can do.
It's Sad to Think About All of the Fruit that Never Gets Eaten
Maybe it's time to awaken from the "American Dream" in order to face the "American Reality." The global reality. A reality that includes just how vulnerable we all are and how necessary it is that we come together as one, now more than ever.
We have to stop waiting for permission.
For all the salacious distractions that make giving-up and giving-in such a sweet surrender, I beg you to reserve your enthusiasm. There is nothing deplorable about being distracted in this marvelous Universe, but it's still sad to think about all of the fruit that never gets eaten. So much good goes to waste when good people are content to lay down and bleed into the earth.
I encourage you to rise up. Stand confident inside of your skin in this moment. Write what needs to be written. Feel what must be felt. Cry the tears that need to be cried. Hear what no one has been willing to hear. See what no one wanted to see. Please, for the love of life, say what no one has been willing to say.
You have as much of a right to be here as everyone else. And you are here.
So lean into your skis like you just left the ski ramp and there's no going back.
Because there is no going back.
All bets are off.
We have to make this work.