Last week I was getting to know my kitchen again after years of only visiting to make coffee and weekend breakfasts. I spilled something on the counter and just like the commercials have told us to do, I reached for the roll of paper towel, but I stopped short, somehow that roll of paper towel now seemed extravagant, like an unnecessary luxury. I grabbed for a sponge instead wiping up the spill and rinsing it back out again. Last week, I stopped using paper towel altogether.
As I sat down with my cup of coffee to settle into my workday, I opened my personal email and was met by email after email of clothing sales, the spring trend in shoes, the latest hair care techniques and I found myself wondering, do these people not know what is happening in the world, are these emails pre-scheduled by automation so far in advance that they can be that far out of touch with where we are right now? None of it felt all that important and then it sunk in that it really never was. Last week, I decided that I no longer wanted to buy into the machine that teaches us to buy for the sake of buying so I unsubscribed from these mailings one after the other.
Yesterday, as I was driving my son, father-in law and dog to the beach for a walk and a little bit of fresh air, I was listening to the news. CNN discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. I began to think about the fact that we are really grinding it all to a halt, bringing the big global hamster wheel to a stop, allowing us hamsters to get off, take a breath, take a rest and decide what’s important.
Last week I began to question everything through this new pandemic picture frame of my existence and I expect this questioning will continue in the weeks and months ahead, but in this questioning I want to make sure that I am asking the right questions, quality questions, questions that consider everyone not just me.
I think it is important to look at things from three levels. How is this impacting me? How does this impact my community? How does this decision impact the humanity & the earth?
This terrible situation that we find ourselves in also contains many opportunities, opportunities to ask ourselves how we want to move forward, what is important to us, what kind of a community, state, country, world do we want to live in.
What does an economy of the future look like? Where is equality in our future? Healthcare? Education? Connection? I wonder what an economy looks like where we all look out for one another, care for one another and the measurement of success is no longer the amount of money in our bank account or a corporation’s stock price but the well-being of the weakest among us.
And so, my questioning continues this week.