Looking back to the beginning of 2020, I see that people involuntarily accepted the Covid-forced changes in their lives. It is hard to call it a pandemic; it is more of a new force that has come into play, creating partitions between us and setting us apart. It sort of put us in our corners and forced us to behave in new ways. We may not want it, at least most of us, but it is nevertheless a compulsory force from above.
I am not surprised that Covid did this. When it just began, I said right away that it’s the beginning of something new that would be with us from now on. Accordingly, I suggested that we adapt our lives to this reality. I don’t think we should go back to the way we lived before, as it was unsustainable and actually facilitated the emergence of Covid-19. If I had a say in the matter, I would say the opposite—that I want Covid to pressure us to the point where we surrender and agree to change our hearts toward each other, and if not, let the virus keep separating us as it has been doing for the past year.
The world before Covid was a madhouse: people running around aimlessly, furiously fighting one another, competing for superiority and power, and increasingly depressed. Covid stopped all that because it changed the way we work, the way we socialize, and the way we treat our families. It changed our values, and I’m happy that it did because the old ones didn’t do us any good.
We felt free, but we were slaves to our egos. We felt entitled, but we used it to disenfranchise others. We felt powerful, but only because we humiliated others. And in the end, we were terrified that if we stopped bullying others, others would bully us. I’m glad that Covid stopped it, and I hope it never returns.
Now it’s time to find real freedom, the freedom to give, to support, and to make room for others. It is freedom to build a society of sharing and caring, solidarity and cohesion, mutual responsibility and trust in our neighbors. It’s time to build a new world.
Now that 2020 is ending, I hope we have learned what it came to teach us and spend the rest of the decade living out its lessons.