NS: Now, more than ever, we might ask: are we at the mercy of forces beyond our control? We are certainly being buffeted by the pandemic and its accompanying crises: economic, social and personal. But are we really helpless?
RJR: No we are not helpless, and it is important that we do not see ourselves as such. If we go into our own inner victim space, we will be at a great loss. These times are not ‘being done to us’. We are part of a collective – the human race. And our collective is part of a bigger collective – our planet. We have more power than we think we do.
NS: It seems that every one of us always has the potential to change or evolve and to have an effect on the collective. But it also seems that many people feel: ‘How can anything I do make a difference to anything?’ There is a tendency to be fatalistic. Or perhaps to think that ‘they‘ (i.e. someone else) will do something to improve things…
RJR: All choices that people make impact the collective. For example, if they attend a march (albeit an extremely important one!) that they feel passionately about, they might be spreading the virus at this time and endangering lives. We all have choices. Even not choosing to do anything has an impact as well. And, as we know, we are the collective. There is no ‘they’. The concept of ‘they’ is on the one hand disempowering, and on the other absolves us of taking any responsibility for anything.
NS: I would agree that we are the collective. So that gives us a responsibility to act thoughtfully. We can’t know all the ramifications of our actions – but that shouldn’t paralyse us. Of course, we have to ‘seize the day’ every day – but perhaps that should mean ‘seizing’ on what contribution we can make. To paraphrase John F Kennedy: ‘Ask not what the collective can do for you, but what you can do for the collective.’
RJR: Great quote! Being conscious and aware of our impact on ourselves (actually), on others, and on our planet is a great lesson to learn at this time. Each one of us counts, and we are far from helpless. Let’s all empower ourselves and raise awareness. We are as one. We all impact each other. This is the time to really and truly get that!
NS: Absolutely. Perhaps from now on we can be aware of the fact that we are quite the opposite of helpless – and that the world actually is us… and everything that we do. The current crisis has underlined that for us.
RJR: Yes, I agree. As a species we are waking up too. Waking up to taking responsibility for our own health. Waking up to how we are all connected. Waking up to racism and privilege. Waking up to our impact on all levels – each and every one of us. This is the time for a great awakening. The time is ripe; the time is now.