Dr. Seuss and the PandemicJan 21, 2021
I stood on a hillside, overlooking humanity. People were scurrying everywhere. A tiny virus had made its big presence known by infecting physical bodies, and the devastation was growing. People were dying.
Scientists, politicians, doctors, and the media were investigating, estimating, medicating, and propagating, while the virus kept replicating. Societal structures ... educational systems, business, religious orders, and recreational privileges were all suffocating as people lay in hospital beds, strapped to ventilators. "Just breathe" became a cruel joke for humanity as lives and livelihoods were being stripped away.
I noticed something else, then, something peculiar. The panic and grief were not just over the important things like systems and survival, but for more trivial matters like the possibility of bathroom supplies running low!
"I think I know how the Grinch felt, looking down over Whoville after he did his terrible deed," I thought. Nobody is ever ready for the unknown. The unknown is truly unexpected, even though not one of us knows what tomorrow holds, in the first place.
None of it was humorous, really. Even the toilet tissue panic was a contagion - an infection of fear that spread just as viral as the virus itself. But people really were dying!
"Such darkness," I said, and again I saw "Whoville," stripped of the brightness of Christmas - presents, lights, feasts, laughter, and singing amongst family and friends, all gone.
"But Whoville pulled together," I said.
The characters in that fictional little town in the movie, The Grinch, chose to use the resources they DID have to create something new. They harvested their love and connection with each other, as well as their resourcefulness and creativity, and despite their loss, they managed to ignite a renewal of the more essential things. The Grinch watched as the real light of humanity shone bright from the valley below, in the unity of people joined in song, and his heart swelled in his chest.
2020 stripped us bare to the bone, but in our pain, struggle, and grief we have been forced to dig deep into our souls for answers to significant questions, some of which are key to our greatest liberation, love, and prosperity.
Who am I?
Did I enjoy this job, anyway?
Should I start a business?
Maybe it's time I quit this business?
Should I go back to school?
What am I most afraid of?
Who really matters to me?
What are my personal strengths?
What new skills do I need?
Should I create an online course?
Should I write my book now?
Have I said, "I love you" lately?
How can I live with EVERYONE at home at the same time?
Isn't it time I had a talk with _______________?
Do I need to rethink my spending?
How can I "vacation" at home?
How long has it been since I laughed with ______________?
Is there a bigger market, now that I am 100% online?
Why does the world need coaches?
What can I do to alleviate someone's pain today?
How am "I" doing in all this?
What are my unique resources here?
Dr. Seuss, author of The Grinch, had a way of waking us all up to our inner child who just wants to be happy and connected with our fellow humans and animals. Because of the pandemic, we have been beckoned towards connection, inner resourcefulness, and new ways of being, both alone and together.
Beneath every human desire, action, possession, and achievement is a little child saying, "Will you play with me?" And the pandemic has challenged us to look within to that scary unknown self where lies our greatest hope of survival - to let that child speak, play, and create in the full, blissful reality of the unknown, living fully TODAY.
"Let's play!" Dr. Seuss would say.