evolution in the time of covid-19

Evolution in a time of crisis

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Throughout human history, we have faced constant and relentless threats to our survival. In evolutionary terms, these pressures typically mean “adapt, or die.” Unlike other species though, we as humans can make a choice about how we confront these pressures. We can choose to adapt.

We are currently confronted with a major threat, as COVID-19 sweeps the globe. The risks to health and the economy at every scale fuel divisiveness, anger, and fear in a vicious cycle.

While many of the consequences are unavoidable, we have an opportunity to adapt. To evolve.

We can choose who we want to become as individuals and as communities at the end of this threat.

We can choose to be the kinds of people who make things better. We can choose to contribute to the welfare of others. We can choose to make a positive change in ourselves, our communities, and our society.

We can rise to the challenge.

Some may feel strong resistance for organized religion. But these are exactly the times where we can learn from the great spiritual traditions of the world. There are many practices that will serve us well to help create positive change – and to adapt:

  • Prayer may not directly fix the root of the problem, making the virus disappear. But it can fortify our own resolve, give us direction, courage, and hope. It can help to bring communities together.
  • Meditation will not make our problems go away. But it can help us to cultivate a sense of calm. It can then help us to respond with more wisdom and compassion to those problems.
  • At the least, exploring different approaches to morality in our daily behavior is much needed. The Golden Rule is relevant as ever, especially in our increasingly divisive times.

The fear and anger we all feel in these unprecedented times can make us feel lost. But we can transform these painful emotions into personal growth. Any kind of spiritual connection can help give us strength and a sense of direction. 

The choices we all make today – to harm or to help, to complain or to contribute – form the people we become tomorrow.

When crisis comes, so does opportunity. We can transform ourselves and our society. Let’s rise to this challenge!