The planet is not going back to the “old normal,” warned the World Health Organization (WHO) as more than 14 million people have been infected with the coronavirus globally, with around one third of those cases reported in the US. Also taking into account its severe economic impact, the WHO considers the pandemic to be the “most severe” global health emergency ever. COVID-19 has arrived to erase the old world and draw a new one, and we can look ahead to the new world with optimism and hope.
The new reality demands that we undergo such a perceptual inversion, in which we will each stop calculating everything out of narrow self-interest, and instead develop a broad vision that takes everyone’s best interests into account.
More than a passing crisis, the health and economic devastation from the coronavirus represent the collapse of the world as we knew it. That old reality is crumbling before our eyes. World leaders find themselves powerless to manage the pandemic properly. They have their backs pressed against the wall and their pockets empty of ideas on how to solve the enormous coronavirus challenges, since their approaches are unaligned with the new reality.
We thus need to realize that tomorrow will be unlike yesterday. Although nostalgia for the past is natural, we have no option but to start looking forward, and fast.
New Is Good
The old world collapsed because its foundation needed an upgrade. Even if we found success in the old world, it says nothing about whether we will do so in the new reality. In order to survive and prosper in the new world, we need to transform the basis of our interactions: from egoistic to mutually considerate. The new reality demands that we undergo such a perceptual inversion, in which we will each stop calculating everything out of narrow self-interest, and instead develop a broad vision that takes everyone’s best interests into account.
The pace of human development has accelerated tremendously over the past few centuries. It has manifested in all sorts of revolutions and social changes. Currently, the call for solidarity and equality resounds in the streets of many countries. However, in the new world, even revolutions will be different. They will first and foremost take place inside the person, in people’s minds and emotions, rather than on the streets. We will have to feel that all human beings are equal, close, connected in mutual consideration, and accordingly learn how to treat others as we would like to be treated.
Previous revolutions changed the pecking order: those who were unimportant became important, and those on top lost their status. The next revolution will be different. Its innovation will be the connection of everyone together as one.
When we feel as one, social systems will emerge that mirror our new connection. Some of the new systems will be voluntarily built out of informed participation on our part. However, as much as we lag behind in our grasp of the developmental trend toward unity, nature will painstakingly force the construction of more unifying systems against our will. Thus, we will gradually bear witness to the dismantlement of the egoistic society, and its replacement with an altruistic society where all parts are equal and connected in mutual complementation.
An Inverted View to Advance
How long will the change in question take? That is up to us.
As of today, we are very far from the goal, both socially and personally. There is nothing more contrary to human nature than to think of the good of others as if it were our own good. And yet, our evolution requires such a change. Humanity now faces the challenge of matching nature’s integrality and unity if it is to survive the 21st Century.
How will it be possible to reverse our selfish view? The method to reverse our nature can be explained with the following example:
Under the current circumstances, we worry about contracting the coronavirus from others and decide to take measures to protect ourselves, such as wearing face masks and keeping our distance from others. An inverse perception, from inward care to outward concern, could be explained as following precisely those same measures as before, but with the intention to avoid our own involuntary transmission of the virus to others.
It is no coincidence that it is currently impossible for us to get rid of the coronavirus, since doing so would require a level of mutual responsibility and guarantee that we do not have. This global pandemic might just turn out to be the first in a series of blows that will show us, with ever-increasing force, that in nature’s view, we are all one, and our good future depends on taking care of each other as if we are members of the same family.
Therefore, we should try to think about what it means to act positively to others — not only to those who are naturally close and dear, but just as much to those who seem foreign and distant. What we do for the sake of others comes back to us, because the system’s every detail exists interdependently with everyone and everything in a single complete whole.
When we function as a single body we will experience the good life: Nature’s cohesive force will flow in our connections, and the world will become filled with abundance, health and tranquility, giving us all a new lease on life.