Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What has the Coronavirus taught you in your life?“
The coronavirus is teaching us all to recognize our global interdependence.
Before the coronavirus, we were in a world of vicious egoistic competition, where the more we could exploit others, the more we could profit.
Today, however, we all depend on each other, as any breach of the social distancing conditions set before us could mean another coronavirus victim.
We have been given a mutual adversary in the coronavirus, and we need to exercise our mutual consideration and responsibility in order to beat it.
However, our true rival is much deeper than the coronavirus.
As much as the coronavirus is a nearly-invisible particle that has brought about much death, sickness and has overturned our socio-economic infrastructures, there is a much more cunning and complex enemy that has no physical form at all—our egoistic human nature.
The human ego, which is the desire for self-benefit at the expense of others, innately pits us up against each other, making each person constantly toil for his or her superiority over others.
Any success we have in such a constant struggle is short-lived, as if we are all in a game of tug-and-war and one of us momentarily manages to pull stronger than the others, before losing that grip and once again becoming pulled along by everyone else. Ultimately, such a struggle leads to us all falling down, as the coronavirus swiftly showed us.
How, then, is it possible to defeat an attitude that is embedded in our very nature since birth?
It is possible firstly by paying more attention to how it acts to our detriment even though it seemingly serves to benefit us; and secondly, it is possible to overcome our egoistic nature by re-prioritizing our values.
Instead of appreciating successful, wealthy and powerful individuals as we did at least until the onset of the coronavirus, if we instead appreciate positive human connection, and acts that serve to increase love, care and unity in society, then such a surrounding positive social influence would give us the necessary tools to shift our mindset: from egoistic use of others for self-benefit, to altruistic use of oneself in order to benefit others.
The coronavirus has taught us that humanity can quickly reach a common ground when conditions call for it.
Using this example, we can take further steps to more and more unification out of our own free choice. In other words, instead of waiting for nature to inflict us with more suffering in order to unite us once again, we can take our unity into our own hands, and actively seek how we can place the benefit of others over self-benefit in our day-to-day and moment-to-moment interactions.
Photo by Nick Bolton on Unsplash.