I am pleased to share this thoughtful article written by a dear friend Laurie Menzies Esq., a well respected elder law attorney in Buffalo, which was published in the Buffalo News. Her sentiments are echoed in our community and we support her - Judith D. Grimaldi
By Laurie L. Menzies
Now that we have all had our time to individually freak-out and try to adjust to the “new reality” that we are experiencing, many of us are asking what happens next?
It’s pretty obvious that the way we had been conducting the business of being human together on this planet has come to a screeching halt. Many people can’t wait to just get back to “normal” and resume the consumerism and fast-paced, self-centered world that we just left. But now that we have had a second to take a breath, maybe we can think of a better way to move forward together.
If we stop complaining about our personal inconvenience by this stop in our fast-paced lives, of ever more and faster consumption of everything we can get our hands and minds into, we might notice that the natural world, of which we are all a part, is enjoying this break. The air we breathe is cleaner and our lakes and rivers are teeming with new life. We are spending more time reconnecting with those we love and showing compassion for people we would never have thought about a few months ago.
Our minds freak out and don’t like this change in our reality. But our hearts may be telling us something different if we listen. This might just be one of the gentlest of ways our planet can warn us to change the way we were living together. At least it wasn’t a nuclear war.
Covid-19 has shown us that we are all equally vulnerable, as human beings. It is no respecter of wealth, status, political party or country. There is currently only the whole world to consider.
Slogans like “we are all in this together” have become popular. But do we believe it? Are we going to go back to the divisive, reactive politics of separation, believing that we can blame someone else or another group for the way this has all turned out?
Each of us has the freedom now to imagine a new way forward, using our hearts instead of our heads. I almost want to scream, to get everyone’s attention and say, “Wake up! This has happened for a blessed reason. The world is getting a second chance.”
Can this experience teach us that we are each truly one and connected with all life on this planet?
Can we learn to respect all people, and find a way to communicate with love and compassion instead of blame and separation? Can we see a way to better allocate our resources of creativity and industry to create a new way of working together for the benefit of everyone, not just the rich and powerful?
Before we rush-back to implement the faster version of our old world through 5-G, why not take this interruption for the gift that it is – and move forward to implement a new normal that we would all love to embrace. If it was ever possible, now is the time.
No one person has the answer to what our future will look like. Each of us, equally, has, the freedom to help make it different than it was.
Let us heed Shakespeare’s warning of our current folly,
Set in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep”
I truly believe that we have it within us to “wake-up” to a better version of ourselves and our world.
Laurie L. Menzies is an elder law attorney, who recently lost her husband, David, to cancer. She has learned many lessons in the past year about meaning and values and the importance of love and relationships.