We wish all of our readers, volunteers, and donors a healthy, happy, and enlightening new year! Happy 2021!
It took only a moment for our entire world to flip upside down. It was as if someone entered each of our houses, slammed down their hands on our kitchen table, and flipped over our perfectly planned feast of dreams and expectations. Dinner was not to be served in 2020. Challenge and uncertainty would be our only meal. Slowly and suddenly, we were fed headlines filled with illness, contagion, and coronavirus. A worldwide pandemic is here.
We swallowed down this new reality, and it felt like chunky peanut butter that kept getting uncomfortably stuck on the roof of our mouths. I didn’t know how to digest it, and there was not enough water or wine to help it go down smoothly.
Unsettled was an understatement. Fear was being served up cold, and the unknown kept pouring from an untapped faucet. Lockdown. Shut down. Human culture is canceled. People, businesses, schools, shops, systems in place for years now stopped, paused, suspended, ended. From a world buzzing with movement to sudden stillness. From the everlasting go go go to the inevitable slow slow slow.
It was during this moment of pause that an intentional transition began cooking, simmering away layers from outwards to inwards, boiling away fear and flavored with trust. I don’t know why but this felt like the start of a good recipe, perhaps we’ve been using the wrong ingredients for years. Digging deep to reach the bottom of the bowl within, this was the nourishment I’ve always wanted. Permission was finally granted to slow down, and savor every bite of simple life.
In hindsight, it’s obvious that our culture has become like fast food, declining in quality, sipping up poison, tasting only the short-lived fulfillment of immediate gratification. It’s as if we’re driving through in a race to nowhere, rushing to our death without feeling alive. We distract ourselves from pain, as though it is not a basic requirement for our very birth into this world. As if our mothers did not suffer sweetly for nine months in our divine creation process, never mind hold on to fierce faith, summoning strength for that final push. We fail to recognize that embracing our discomfort is what allows us to grow; that what feels like it can destroy us is what creates us anew.
They say that if something is not broken, then we should not fix it. But what if we just didn’t see the cracks until now? As a humanity, it feels like we are living amidst a great disaster, which begs for a great fix. It is not a natural disaster as we know it, but the most unnatural, born of an overwhelmed and imbalanced society, which is moving further away from its true nature, out of alignment with due process. Brought on by overconsumption, greed, corruption of power, and speed, these are unhealthy ingredients to infuse into any system, let alone our leading institutions. It is clear that our leaders do not know more than us, and it is up to us to know ourselves. It is up to us to consciously choose which ingredients with which to nourish our system, inside and out.
Perhaps we shall start a recipe for renewal. Grab a mixer full of contribution, add a dash of appreciation, two cups of tolerance, a handful of forgiveness, a sprinkle of empathy, and let’s not forget to pause and let it rise. Within the moments of stillness, we can see what no longer serves, and create the necessary space to expand to our fullest potential. Why not splendor into the surrender of sweet slowness, so that we can stand at our kitchen table, and just be thankful that we have one.