At a time when the news is dramatic, the question that arises is whether it does not invite us, although we have just changed or we’re about to change our clocks, to consider a time change.
A few years ago, with Nicole Aknin, we wrote a book in French entitled « What if Life Always Wanted the Best for Us? » Of course, in the last few days, we have been wondering how, with the number of infected people and the number of deaths that are announced every day, Life could still want the best for us.
Another way of putting it is maybe to wonder what lessons could be learned from the current crisis.
To answer that question, it is perhaps appropriate to look at what is happening here and now.
Beyond the chilling numbers that confront us, every night, what we can see and what is remarkable is that WE ARE GOING THROUGH THIS CRISIS TOGETHER.
It is not being against one another, it is not being in competition with one another. We are going through this crisis WITH one another.
The health care teams are united, the researchers are united, the political parties are, if not united, a little less divided, and all of us, in our buildings, in our condos, in our villages, in our communities are united. And there is no doubt that it is UNITED, it is TOGETHER LOCKED DOWN, TOGETHER PRUDENT, TOGETHER IN SOLIDARITY that we will emerge from this major crisis.
Of course there are still some difficulties here, some tensions there and some resistance elsewhere, but we have finally understood, and those who have not yet understood will soon be forced to do so, that it is together that we are going to lead ourselves out of this crisis.
So, IF THERE IS ONLY ONE LESSON TO BE LEARNED FROM THE ORDEAL that all humanity is going through – and this is probably the very first time that humanity has ever been confronted with a truly global calamity – if there is only one lesson to be learned, IT IS THAT WE MUST BE UNITED and that we must therefore, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and every day after, CONTINUE TO BE ONE, ALL TOGETHER.
Together means not against one another, not distrusting one another, not doubting one another.
At the same time, I can hear voices that are already trying to hold on to the old days, to the not-so-distant times when people fought against one another, or opposed one another, wanting to be right at all costs.
No one can blame them for this, as for many of us it is the known, and we human beings often prefer the known even if it is painful, rather than the unknown which frightens us. Just as we have learned to oppose others in order to be able to say « I exist », just as we have learned to struggle to claim our identities, just as we have a visceral need to prevail over the other and therefore to be right in order to feel a sense of existence, so we are inclined to continue like this.
Yet one « me, me, me » in front of another « me, me, me » is far from being productive. A victory here, a triumph there can give us the illusion that we are ahead…
But let us imagine, for a moment, what humanity would be like if, instead of the small victories and small triumphs of one or another, we combined tomorrow as we do today, we all combined our energy, our talents, our creativity to enter into a new time, a new era.
At this crucial moment in the history of humanity, I feel sad to hear some people announce that they are waiting for the crisis to end before calling for accountability and looking for the culprits, I feel sad to hear others, perhaps the same ones, who doubt that the right choices have been made even though no one is able to award a medal to any of the 180 countries in the world affected by the crisis, I feel sad to hear those voices who hold their truth as the only truth, because it is this kind of truth that does not work in any situation.
What we are learning from this crisis is that together we can build the future of peace and prosperity that we all want.
When I was a child, I learned a scout song that even then touched me deeply and tugged at my heartstrings. The words were:
The more we get together
Secrétaire Général de la SFU-Paris