What Would Micah Do?
I grew up hearing Micah's advice at least once a year during services: that what we humans are supposed to be doing is to "do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."
I know -- the "with thy God" part can be off-putting. How I think of it is this: with my understanding that I am an agent -- as we all are -- of Source. That my every thought and action causes ripples in all the worlds. There is no time out; everything counts. So I walk in consciousness that I am and am in partnership with the Divine, or sometimes, with Cosmic Balance.
So how does Micah's advice show up in the light of this coronavirus, this newly crowned threat to human existence? Here's how it strikes me:
Be responsible. Wash our hands. Disinfect what we bring into our house, our car. Don't buy up all the toilet paper, alcohol, canned beans and rice - but I guess that horse has left the barn. Maintain social distancing. Walking and talking with my friend, Amy, today, one of us six feet in front of the other, I realized that I'm developing my lung power -- a good thing, too, I figure, to protect my lungs. Don't go out into stores unless I really need something. To tell you the truth, I have a hard time with the online ordering online now because I like to support local businesses. And if course, I grieve and wring my metaphorical hands in empathy with business that must close, if even prophylactically, hoping to wait out the storm.
Don't even get up on that horse if it puts you so high that you can't feel others' angst, because this is no time for rage and flouting moral superiority. Yes, there are people who are hoarding and buying up all the toilet paper. If we see someone doing that, maybe it's the time to summon our courage and ask them politely if perhaps they could leave some for others, and certainly tell stores you'd appreciate their having a policy that limits quantities we may buy, such as Oliver's in Cotati, where I shop, is doing. That goes up in the "doing justly" paragraph.
Walking in partnership with the Divine:
Lets' play God. Or Unending Cosmic Energy. It is in our power to extend healing blessing to every being on this planet, especially the ones we pass on our walks, speak to, and who see our facebook posts. Let's be gracious if graciousness is something we can draw up from our depths. And what if we can't? What if we are having a terrible day -- or a terrible life? I am not qualified to answer that question, but (and here's where I nonetheless answer the question) we all have a sense of the possible somewhere deep wherever hope, joy, and self-acceptance may have hidden. There are techniques to access that well: meditation, breathing, affirmations, prayer, walks in nature and various versions of all of the above.
The virus has only just begun its rampage. We have a long road ahead of us. Let's live consciously. Let's make our best effort to be as patient as we can. Let's remember to breathe slowly and deeply whenever fear or rage threaten our balance. And, if the idea that our being in the world can be a blessing can find a home in our hearts, let's take it in and let it broadcast itself through the way we show up in the world.