The Fight for Inclusion in the Midst of COVID-19
Anger is not the only thing passing along the chain of transmission among people in America during the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. New coronavirus outbreaks due to crowding in the massive demonstrations seem imminent, warn health experts. The most basic human instinct, the sense of preservation to avoid further contagion, has been overshadowed by the fury of the multitude of protesters rallying to demand justice. If only such an intense inner drive would transform into an engine of love that would cover the entire nation through the realization that America’s strength lies in its diversity!
America’s healing depends on the efforts made to attain unity and mutual guarantee. Every person should be a guarantor for his neighbor’s integrity and prosperity.
As recent reports indicate, Mr. Floyd himself tested positive for coronavirus antibodies from a previous infection. Even though it may never be known whether this played a role in his death at the hands of the police, his case is symbolic of the two main struggles afflicting today’s America: racial tensions that have unleashed incendiary social unrest and whose end is still unclear, and a deadly pandemic that has already claimed more than 100,000 lives.
A vaccine for the COVID-19 virus may be available in the near future but what about a vaccine to heal the breakage within the American society? Even if the massive protests stop raging across the US, the calm will only be temporary, as we have witnessed in previous movements throughout history. Therefore, we must identify the solution at a deeper level, at its root cause.
The root of the problem is found in human nature, the desire to squelch diversity instead of embracing it. To be one as a society is not synonymous with all members being identical. The whole is composed of the inclusion of different shapes, colors, and forms that complement one another to create a sparkling singularity. Such a state of wholeness can only be reached through love.
In order to attain love, the entire society must engage in a revolutionary transformation where our differences are cultivated and embraced above the natural inclination for divisive competition and destructive envy. Divergences, contradictions, and variations should be the bricks used to build bridges of affective connections based on trust, respect, and mutual support.
The roof that protects all the differences can only be love — never pride, arrogance, or violence. As it is written by our sages, “Love covers all crimes.” We need to love each other beyond the physical body and skin, to love and connect to the heart of the person. Then we will see that we are all parts of one system, the system of nature.
It is not by chance that we have been created with different attributes and characteristics. Just like everything in nature, nothing occurs randomly. Every action and element of creation has a purpose, including the existence of opposites. The contrasts exist so we can exert our free will and make conscious efforts toward connection.
Only when people resist separation, can a nation become a healthy one. Therefore, America’s healing depends on the efforts made to attain unity and mutual guarantee. Every person should be a guarantor for his neighbor’s integrity and prosperity. This is how all societies will eliminate all social illnesses.