A response to one of my recent posts said that on the one hand, I say that Covid-19 has come in order to make us stay at home and disconnect from one another. On the other hand, I say that it came to teach us how to be close to nature. But since human nature is to connect with others, as we are social beings, there is an apparent contradiction here since you cannot connect if you are locked down at home.
A line in a piece of Jewish poetry called “Go My Beloved,” reads, “The end of the work is in the preliminary thought.” It means that when you do something, you must think of the final outcome that you want to achieve before you begin to work on achieving it. Otherwise, you are certain to go the wrong way.
The same goes for Covid and how humanity should deal with it. It is very true that humans are social beings. Moreover, the whole purpose of humanity is to connect in a way that benefits both individuals and human society. But to achieve this goal, we need to know how to connect in a way that yields these benefits. If we connect incorrectly, we are harming ourselves, human society, and our entire planet.
Currently, there is no question that we are connecting incorrectly. A quick scan of human relations around the world reveals a frightening picture of enmity, abuse, rampant killing and murders between countries and within countries, financial exploitation, a military arms race, ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons, race related social tensions, depression, oppression, aggression, and every imaginable form of malice. Human society is rife with inhumanity.
Until now, nature has let us “sort things out for ourselves,” so to speak. But over the past several decades, it has become clear that we are either unwilling or unable to change, and in our efforts to destroy one another, we will destroy our home planet.
So, what do parents do when their children don’t stop fighting and can’t work things out by themselves? They send them to their separate rooms. Clearly, the parents would like nothing more than to see their beloved children get along and become best friends. But if all their efforts to make peace between their children fail, they have to stop the fighting by separating the children altogether. Afterwards, when the fighting has stopped, the parents and the children can calmly examine their relations and start connecting more positively. Yet, even when they are permitted to connect, the children must always remember that they can be sent back to their rooms if they misbehave once more.
Nature is dealing with us much like those parents. It no longer settles for “punishing” us locally, through natural disasters or other local crises. It has sent us a global blow that has shut down humanity’s hostile operations toward others and toward nature. Just like those loving parents from the example, the idea is not to disconnect us from each other altogether. On the contrary, the idea is to allow us to learn how to connect to one another positively, one step at a time.
As soon as we begin to want to connect positively, nature will respond positively. It does not operate like a person, but more like a machine that responds to certain stimuli. Anything that operates similar to it arouses nature’s positive response, and anything that operates contrary to it arouses a negative response.
Since nature functions as a harmonious and balanced system, as I wrote in my previous post, if we build a balanced and harmonious human society, nature will not impose any restrictions or limitations on us. But if we insist on bullying each other, well, nature is a bigger bully than any of us. I hope for all of us that we will learn nature’s lessons sooner rather than after it demonstrates its strength.
A family pose for a photo during the 45th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display at Gantry State Plaza in Long Island City. This year’s celebration was slated to be larger and longer, running at 25 minutes, than previous years as a testament to the city’s improvement over COVID-19. Due to the coronavirus pandemic last year’s fireworks display was spread over four nights and multiple boroughs in an effort to limit gatherings and slow the spread. (Photo by Ron Adar)