Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What are the key lessons from this pandemic?“
One key lesson is that the pandemic is only an initial blow from nature, and we can expect many more blows in more severe forms because the time has come for us to undergo a major transformation: a shift in our entire approach to life, from a competitive self-centered approach to one where we share mutual responsibility and consideration for each other and nature.
The pandemic-charged changes we already see in society, from social distancing conditions through to increased unemployment and falling businesses, hint at how this change of our approach to life will have to transpire.
Especially in the realm of work, we have built a society filled with businesses and professions that we have no real need for.
Through the pandemic, nature started filtering out the nonessential from the essential. Businesses that served our basic needs continued serving us, while those we had no real need for became sidelined.
If we look at the animal sphere, we see how a certain amount of animals die off, and others develop in their place, according to various changes that appear in nature.
It is similar with us.
We are parts of nature, and nature operates on us by placing us in new conditions. Accordingly, nature adjusts the human population and the emphasis of its activity.
Under the coronavirus’ influence, many people have become unemployed, and it is because there is a prominent declining need for much of the professions we once held.
We can expect businesses and professions that we have a real need for to continue, which is only about five percent of the service sector that has developed over the last 70 years or so.
Likewise, we will see that around 95 percent of what we engaged in will gradually disappear. People will feel that the materialistic values we held, which drove us to strive for expensive clothing, prestigious cars, and traveling incessantly around the world, will decline, and we will feel needs for more basic and simple fulfillments, together with more meaningful social connections.
Therefore, society and authorities alike will need to think hard about what to do with the growing unemployed mass around the world.
It is on this point that I have proposed a setup where people will have their basic needs provided by authorities in exchange for participating in learning and activities that aim to increase the sensation of meaningful connection in society.
On one hand, we won’t be able to revive our pre-coronavirus economy and lifestyle, and on the other hand, if we simply fulfill people’s basic needs without offering social accolades and goals worth striving for, then society will stagnate.
Therefore, by supplying life’s essentials in exchange for participation in learning and activities that aim to improve social connections, we will see a major shift in values—from egoistic to altruistic, individualistic to mutually dependent, and materialistic to people-focused—which will make this transition appear advantageous to everyone.
Moreover, by prioritizing positive social connections above all other engagements, we will also come closer into balance with nature’s interdependent and interconnected form, and will thus experience positive feedback from nature: elated harmonious sensations the likes of which we have yet to experience.