Entries in the 'Coronavirus' Category

“Some Lives Are Worth More In Our Egoistic World” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Some Lives Are Worth More in Our Egoistic World

Covid-19 has claimed nearly 350,000 lives in Brazil, vaccinations are infuriatingly sluggish, and thousands of casualties are added to the tally each day. In the meantime, European countries have access to vaccines, and their daily tallies are in the lower triple digits. Yet, the tragedy unfolding in Brazil gets little to no media attention while the struggle in Europe, which, by the way, could have been even more successful if it weren’t for bureaucratic incompetence, is getting the full spotlight. Are Brazilian lives worth less?

As I have stated countless times, we’re in a different time now, when the interconnections between us impose an all-encompassing solution. We will not be healed from the virus, in one mutation or another, until we heal our egoism. Until then, any reprieve from its whip will be short-lived, and every blow that will follow will be more painful than the former.

Judging by the media coverage, the answer is clear. However, in truth, the answer is even worse than “Yes, they are worth less.” The uneven attention that the tragedy unfolding in Brazil, and in a few other countries in South America, demonstrates the level of self-absorption we have reached. It is now at a point where it is impossible to answer the question of the value of life simply because no one gives it a single thought. Life, it seems, is not worth discussing, but only rating and coverage.

This is not news, of course, but when it becomes so patent, it’s still worth mentioning, even if only to remind ourselves of the nature of our being. Humans, we are seeing once again, are selfish to the core.

Let’s ask ourselves a question: If, for the sake of argument, we could do whatever we want, whenever we wanted, and no one, absolutely no one, would know about it, point the finger at us, punish us, or reproach us in any way, what would our world be like? How would we behave if that were the case? As I’m sure you can imagine, we have much more to learn about our nature than has been revealed. Perhaps it would be wise to imagine what we’d do if we could rather than wait for it to manifest, since we see that gradually, what we do not imagine, materializes in reality.

If I could give humanity the best present, I’d make everyone see the real human nature as quickly and as harmlessly as possible. This would make us search sincerely for a correction of our nature rather than apply makeshift fixes that let the fester swell up even worse until it painfully explodes.

Still, the pandemic won’t let up. As I have stated countless times, we’re in a different time now, when the interconnections between us impose an all-encompassing solution. We will not be healed from the virus, in one mutation or another, until we heal our egoism. Until then, any reprieve from its whip will be short-lived, and every blow that will follow will be more painful than the former.

“Covid Not Incentive For Antisemitism” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Covid Not Incentive for Antisemitism

The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs 2020 Antisemitism Report argues that last year was good in the sense that in the previous year, no Jews were murdered for being Jews. At the same time, the report laments the rise of what it considers the most decisive power driving antisemitism in the previous year: the Covid-19 pandemic.

We should know better. Jews have always been blamed for the world’s woes. Were Jews not blamed for the Black Death in the Middle Ages? Were Jews not blamed for Germany’s woes before World War II broke out? And when Jews aren’t blamed for something as tragic as the Black Death, they’re still blamed for every little pain. In fact, Jews are hated even when there is nothing at all to blame them for.

Unless, of course, we put a stop to it. We, Jews, are the unexpected holders of the key to ending antisemitism. And once again, it is not a circumstantial solution. Nor is it a matter of policy, ideology, or stifling of antisemitic outbursts. We can and should apply sticking plaster solutions when possible, but we must not think that they will solve the problem. If we believe they will, reality will explode in our faces.

These days, the trend is to blame Israel for the intensification of antisemitism, as though this or that policy of the Israeli government will change how the world feels about Jews. I was born in Eastern Europe right after the war; almost my entire family perished in the Holocaust. There was no State of Israel to blame, and my family certainly didn’t cause the downfall of Germany in World War I, but they were murdered nonetheless. Their only “fault” was that they were Jews. Once it is legitimate to assail Jews, no pretext is needed, and no brutality is off limits.

According to the Internet Archive, since the Bar Kokhba Revolt, which ended in 135 CE, Jews have been expelled from their host countries, or altogether exterminated, more than 800 times! These pogroms predate the State of Israel, racism, and even Christianity. In fact, antisemitism is as old as Judaism itself. Therefore, if we want to find the solution to Jew-hatred, we have to look deeper than attributing it to some passing crisis that is here today and gone tomorrow.

But perhaps the most intriguing fact about Jew-hatred is the apparent dichotomy between the development of a country and the intensity and ferociousness of its antisemitism. Of all the countless atrocities that non-Jews have inflicted on Jews, none did so more potently and painfully than the most powerful nations of their time. Egypt under Pharaoh was the first, followed by Babylon, which ruined the First Temple. Then came Greece with the temporary destruction of the Second Temple, followed by Rome, which destroyed the Second Temple beyond repair and let the Jews destroy each other in a gruesome civil war. In the 15th century, Spain, a mighty and enlightened empire, expelled all the Jews from its midst in the second most traumatic event since the ruin of the Second Temple, and finally, the Holocaust that Nazi Germany had wrought on European Jewry was the worst trauma since the ruin of the Second Temple. In all those episodes, the decimators were the most advanced, cultured, and civilized nations of their time. But at some point, something made them turn against the Jews and let the monster loose.

Since this pattern has persisted throughout history, and only the pretexts changed to suit the circumstances, there is no reason to expect it to change going forward. The future of the Jews, it seems, is bleak, and another blow is nearing. Whether it will strike the State of Israel, American Jewry, or both is anyone’s guess, but there is no question that the two most developed and advanced Jewish communities are the targets of the next great blow to the Jewish people.

Unless, of course, we put a stop to it. We, Jews, are the unexpected holders of the key to ending antisemitism. And once again, it is not a circumstantial solution. Nor is it a matter of policy, ideology, or stifling of antisemitic outbursts. We can and should apply sticking plaster solutions when possible, but we must not think that they will solve the problem. If we believe they will, reality will explode in our faces.

The real solution lies not with the world, but with the Jews themselves. This is why this hatred persists through any circumstance. We must look for the solution not in how the world treats us, but in how we treat ourselves. Our relationships with one another generate the hatred of the nations toward us. It may sound outlandish, but our sages have known this throughout the ages, yet the people were reluctant to heed their advice.

Note that our sages do not attribute the ruin of the First Temple to the Babylonian conquest, but to the bloodshed and corruption within Israel. Likewise, they do not attribute the ruin of the Second Temple to the Romans, but to baseless hatred of the Jews for one another. Time and time again, they tell us that if we unite, no harm will come to us; time and time again we pay them no attention, conveniently adopt the victim narrative, and blame our woes on others.

When I look at the global political climate, I do not think it bodes well for the Jews. I don’t know how much time we have, but I do not believe it will be very long before the dark clouds on the horizon amass into a storm front that will unleash its wrath on the Jews. Worse yet, from what I can see, it will not be a single country that will give a free rein to hatred, but the entire world; there will be no escape. This is why I think it is so urgent that we apply the one cure we haven’t tried since before the ruin of the Temple: unity.

The incentive for antisemitism, our sages tell us, is our hatred of each other, and the cure for it is our unity, “as one man with one heart.”

For more on this topic, you may refer to the books Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour and The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.

“World Leaders’ Call For Pandemic Treaty Exposes International Ill-Will” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “World leaders’ Call for Pandemic Treaty Exposes International Ill-Will

On March 30th, AP’s Maria Cheng reported, “More than 20 heads of government and global agencies called … for an international treaty for pandemic preparedness that they say will protect future generations in the wake of COVID-19.” Cheng added that World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and several heads of state proposed “a renewed collective commitment” that will provide “a framework for international cooperation and solidarity.”

The future may seem forbidding, but I think that in fact, we should be grateful that we are living through such a transformational period in history. We are transitioning from a self-centered society to a connected humanity. Since we already know the direction, we can choose whether to go there fast and easily, or slow and painfully. How many generations could say that they have a clear path for all of humanity? I think we are lucky, but we should seize the opportunity and ride the wave. We shouldn’t be afraid; there is no need to suffer. We can join hands and build together a world where people care for one another, where there are no pandemics, no wars, and no alienation. The choice is ours; we can take it or leave it.

On the face of it, it is a good idea. In practice, it will lead nowhere. Cheng herself noted that “Although the 25 signatories of the commentary called for ‘solidarity,’ and greater ‘societal commitment,’ there was no indication any country would soon change its own approach to responding to the pandemic.” Moreover, “China, Russia and the United States didn’t join in signing the statement,” she wrote, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki went as far as stating that the treaty “could divert attention away from substantive issues regarding the response, preparedness for future pandemic threats,” effectively sealing its fate before it was born.

Once again, alienation prevents an initiative from succeeding. If every country caters only to its own interests, how will they be able to solve any global problem, especially when they are as widespread as the Covid-19 pandemic? And since they can’t, they are paying the price. Already, Europe is facing a third wave, Brazil is nearing 4,000 Covid fatalities per day, and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr. Rochelle Walensky passionately warned of a fourth wave saying, “Right now, I’m scared …of impending doom.”

We are approaching a tipping point; we will have to choose between solidarity or pain, great pain. Reality has given us an ultimatum, and we must choose whether to stay selfish and suffer, or start thinking of each other. This choice will manifest on every level: international, national, social, and personal. Solidarity is the call of the hour; if we do not heed it voluntarily, it will force itself on us or punish us. Nature has created the virus; nature has created us, and all our innovations will not outsmart nature, our creator.

The future may seem forbidding, but I think that in fact, we should be grateful that we are living through such a transformational period in history. We are transitioning from a self-centered society to a connected humanity. Since we already know the direction, we can choose whether to go there fast and easily, or slow and painfully. How many generations could say that they have a clear path for all of humanity? I think we are lucky, but we should seize the opportunity and ride the wave. We shouldn’t be afraid; there is no need to suffer. We can join hands and build together a world where people care for one another, where there are no pandemics, no wars, and no alienation. The choice is ours; we can take it or leave it.

“What Really Makes Life Precious” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “What Really Makes Life Precious

Recently, many analyses have surfaced showing the excess mortality that Covid-19 has wrought. Even with the existence of vaccines, the virus is still spreading and in many countries, claims hundreds, and even thousands of lives each day. This grim reality has prompted some students to ask me about the meaning of life and death.

If we want to give our lives meaning, we should spend it connecting to other people—not in order to use them, but in order to care about them. This is what makes life precious.

Indeed, we treat life as something very important, and for a good reason, but on condition that we act on this reason. If we go through our lives just passing the time, then all we get out of it is the few ounces of pain we have collected. However, if we use it to make the most of the opportunity we have received to approach, or even achieve the spiritual realm of life, namely to connect with other people to the point where we feel them in our hearts, then life is precious.

Inherently, we feel that we do not owe anything to anyone and should only please ourselves. However, we do not realize that this is just our starting point in life. If we end life at the same point where we started, then we have wasted our chance to make progress. From thinking of nothing but ourselves, we should spend our lives trying to extend ourselves and connect to others, to develop care for others. By doing so, we become similar to the connectivity that permeates all of nature and our consciousness expands proportionally.

A newborn baby doesn’t know anything of its environment except for the existence of its own mother, and even that awareness only pertains to the sides of her that relate to the baby. As the baby grows, it begins to realize that there are other things and people around, and begins to communicate with them.

The same process should happen internally. We should evolve from knowing and feeling only ourselves to knowing and feeling our whole environment—people, animals, and objects. This can happen only if we care about them. If we only seek to use them to please ourselves, we will know about them as much as the newly born knows about its mother. What a shame it is to die without having learned more about the reality we live in.

If we want to give our lives meaning, we should spend it connecting to other people—not in order to use them, but in order to care about them. This is what makes life precious.

“What It Takes To Make A Passover For All Of Humanity” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “What It Takes to Make a Passover for All of Humanity

This coming weekend, Passover begins. This holiday, which seems to be such a Jewish occasion, actually holds within it a message and a prediction for all of humanity. It is no coincidence that the story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the exodus from Egypt has inspired several epic films; the universal message of liberation from enslavement touches a soft spot in every person: the aspiration for freedom.

To make the most of the story, we need to understand what or who enslaves us, and how we can be freed. The name of the holiday, “Passover,” is no coincidence. It represents passing over from enslavement to freedom. And Pharaoh, the great oppressor, is none other than our ego.

Moses, whose name comes from the Hebrew word “moshech” [pulling], is the force that pulls us out of Pharaoh’s grip and delivers us, making us masters of our own fates. The story of Egypt is truly universal because the liberation from the ego pertains to each and every person. At some point, each of us will feel that the ego has become a ruthless master and will want to run away from it. This is when one exits Egypt by following Moses, and becomes a free person—liberated from one’s own tormenting Pharaoh—the ego.

These days, the days of Covid-19, are tough times for everyone. Although Covid has not made us feel enslaved, it certainly made us feel restrained. The mounting pressure on people’s psyche, the economic toll of lockdowns, the growing pain and grief are spoiling the party that we’d had until the arrival of the virus. Until its arrival, we were in love with Pharaoh. He, namely our ego, has given us civilization, progress, prosperity, and everything that we have achieved.

But Pharaoh does not remain the same. Like everything else in life, he changes over time. Our ego is growing and evolving, and in the process it becomes increasingly demanding. What was great yesterday becomes completely insufficient today. Gradually, we begin to feel increasingly dissatisfied. Shouldn’t it have been the opposite, that the more we have, the happier we are? Not if we consider who demands that we satisfy his wishes: our ego.

Our ego is insatiable; the more you feed it, the hungrier it grows. And the hungrier it grows, the more demanding it becomes. In the end, you find yourself locked in pursuit of satisfactions that seem rewarding only until you have them. Once you have what you want, your boss whispers “Bring me more‼! Bring me better‼!” Then, when you say “Enough!” you realize that you cannot get away; you are enslaved to your ego and the more you resist, the more it afflicts you. This is when you realize that Pharaoh was exploiting you, that he was good to you only as long as you served him. But the minute you want to quit, you uncover his true face. This is when the enslavement in Egypt begins.

We are not there yet, but we are nearing it. We are already feeling bad, but we have yet to realize that Pharaoh, our ego, is the cause of our bad feeling, and not a virus or any other disaster. When we grasp this, it will mark the beginning of our exodus from Egypt, from enslavement to the ego.

For now, it is enough to examine everything that we don’t like about our lives and ask ourselves who is really suffering from them. If we start creating some space between ourselves and our egos, we might be able to see who is demanding the work, who is reaping the reward, and who is paying the price.
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What You Need To Think About Every Minute

204Question: A student wrote: “I saw the video on YouTube ‘How to overcome shame?’ Tell me, please, what should I do? Due to the coronavirus, I lost my business and have huge debts to banks; I have a rented apartment and a young child. How can I not to lose the human in myself? With stress, depression, panic attacks, and insomnia, how does one deal with a temporary difficult life situation? You have accurately described my state of mind.”

Answer: I advise you to turn off your brain and nerves, to act absolutely mechanically, rationally. What life requires of me today, I must do, without paying attention to what will happen the day after tomorrow and even, maybe, tomorrow. The main thing is today! Understand me correctly, and then you will understand how our world should be realized.

We should not think about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we should not make any plans for huge changes. We should just think about how at every moment we can be useful to ourselves and to our loved ones, and if we have the correct understanding of the future world, maybe somehow share this with others.

Without overly reasonable and philosophical fabrications, keep it as simple as possible.

And you will see such a new path, along which you can safely walk, like in a park, and no one will bother you. And if, as it seems to you, they bother you, delve deeper into this path. You will see how everything will resolve and make room for your simple life. And so you will get out of all these problems.

The main thing is to live uncomplicated in our time, in this pandemic. And this attitude will lead you to the wisest thoughts and actions.
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From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 2/1/21

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My Thoughts On Twitter 3/25/21

Dr Michael Laitman Twitter

In the news: In Japan in 2020 the number of #suicides was higher than the number of #coronavirus deaths.
This sounds like an invitation to increase the dissemination of Kabbalah in #Japan…!
From Twitter, 3/25/21

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“When It Comes To Vaccines – There Is No Union In The European Union” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “When It Comes to Vaccines – There Is No Union in the European Union

It’s hard to describe the European Union Covid-19 vaccines fiasco better than James McAuley did it in his most recent column on The Washington Post: “Imagine being in the middle of the greatest public health crisis in a century,” he writes, “and finally, thanks to the ingenuity of science, you get the tools to end that crisis — but, out of nowhere, you decide you won’t use them. Welcome to the European Union, where political leaders dwell in mansions of bureaucratic incompetence and political arrogance as a third wave of covid-19 cases threatens the continent and new variants emerge.” Later in the column, McAuley asks what it will take “before the E.U. vaccinates its citizens as if their lives were on the line?”

Covid-19 is just the first and mildest blow; many more are en route. The first blow has claimed millions of lives. The looming blows will claim many more. As long as we make egoism our king, life will punish us, and the ego will not let us recover. Blow after blow, humanity will collapse under the pain until we all realize that our real enemy is not nature, which inflicts such blows as Covid, but our own egos, which do not let us overcome them easily and quickly.

McAuley offers many reasons that could result in such a fiasco, but I think the truth is plain and simple: It is a struggle led by nothing more than big egos that care for nothing but their own prestige. When has there been union in the European Union? Never! From its very beginning, there have been nothing but power struggles, exploitation, and abandonment of member states in need. (Remember Greece in the 2008 Financial Crisis or Italy in the first wave of the pandemic?) When these come alongside lofty statements that “Building a fair and well-functioning society is a political priority for the European Union,” to quote the EU Science Hub, or a page that the EU titled “European solidarity in action,” to document (the few) examples of solidarity in Europe in facing the Covid-19 crisis, one can’t help but feel deep mistrust in the sincerity of the leaders of the EU.

I’ve said it so many times before: An organization that is founded on egoism cannot last, and the longer it does last, the more the people under its influence suffer until they break it up. All that the EU bureaucrats manage to do, and in this they excel, is make the rich and powerful people on top, even richer and more powerful.

“They shall sow the wind, and they shall harvest a storm,” said Prophet Hosea (8:7). Indeed, the spirit of alienation and exploitation that has pervaded the EU from its onset killed every chance of solidarity and is now costing the lives of thousands of Europeans every day while all of the developed countries are already emerging from the pandemic. When you do not nurture solidarity, you cannot expect to have it at a time of need.

Covid-19 is just the first and mildest blow; many more are en route. The first blow has claimed millions of lives. The looming blows will claim many more. As long as we make egoism our king, life will punish us, and the ego will not let us recover. Blow after blow, humanity will collapse under the pain until we all realize that our real enemy is not nature, which inflicts such blows as Covid, but our own egos, which do not let us overcome them easily and quickly.

In fact, if for each blow we would bolster our unity, we would achieve such union in human society that we would secure a good life for every person on the planet. We are already capable of it, but we have no desire for it since no one gets the credit, and without a trophy for the ego, there is no motivation to exert for it. At the same time, there is strong motivation to prevent anyone else from helping humanity so that no one else will get the credit.

Until we learn to forge true solidarity, we will not have a good life on this planet. Be it a fourth wave of Covid, extreme weather of unprecedented intensity, or some other ploy that nature might pull, we will be forced into greater and greater discomfort and pain until we surrender and dethrone our egos.

“Why Did The Coronavirus Come To All The World? Why Is This Virus Active?” (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Why did the Coronavirus come to all the world? Why is this virus active?

As much as we have been affected by the pandemic, we are still unaware of its true effect on us.

The pandemic has affected us very deeply. It emerged in order to create a new humanity, to upgrade our attitudes so that we would relate more positively, considerately, compassionately and constructively to each other and to nature.

If we look at ourselves a year ago, and if we would be able to see ourselves a year from now, we would see completely different people. We cannot return to the kinds of people we were before the pandemic. On one hand, the pandemic has isolated, detached, and estranged us from each other more and more, but by doing so, it has given us space to think about who we are, where we are, why we are here, and also, what kind of attitudes we have to each other and to the world in general.

Nature has placed us onto a new level of development from which we will be able to very quickly transition to a whole new kind of positively-connected human society.

It seems as if we have been struck with a very contagious viral disease, but when we understand nature’s purpose and plan, then we see how this state came about precisely as a means to upgrade our attitudes to each other: to become detached from our egoistic-consumeristic values that had been running rampant leading up to the pandemic, and to let us further develop in a more refined manner toward the purpose of creation, to the discovery of who and what we truly are, and why we are alive here in this world.

Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash .

“People Aren’t Unemployed, They Simply Do Not Need To Work” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “People Aren’t Unemployed, They Simply Do Not Need to Work

Although Israel is recovering from the Covid pandemic, it seems as though the job market is still in the midst of a lockdown. It is not that there are no jobs to occupy; it’s just that people aren’t keen to occupy them. In fact, so many Israelis prefer to remain jobless that the government has initiated a campaign to encourage people to return from furlough or from unemployment. So far, however, the campaign has had only marginal success.

Truthfully, I understand these people. I think that before we rush back to our pre-Covid life, which apparently wasn’t something we so terribly miss, we must reflect on what we want. People now realize that they can have a good life even if they earn less. They have more free time to spend with family and friends, and once you are among people you like, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy yourself. A day at the beach with the family hardly costs a thing, but is very enjoyable and emotionally rewarding. When you think about it, how much more do we need?

We do not need to love, or even like each other, not yet anyway. All we need is to realize that those I hate are precisely the ones on whom my life depends. If we do that, we will have a society where people truly do not need to work, where they can spend their days in peace, since we’ll be watching out for one another.

Besides, the job market needs fewer and fewer workers. We’ve gone from measuring things in kilometers and meters to measuring things in nanometers. Everything has shrunk, and everything requires fewer working hands. Even computer related jobs require fewer workers than before; the whole society is shifting toward a state where less working hours are required. It is no wonder that some countries are seriously mulling universal basic income programs instead of sending people back to work, or a shorter workweek. The days of hard work are nearing their end, and we need to figure out how we want to spend the additional time on our hands.

Food supply and other necessities will not be a problem; we are already producing more than we’re consuming and we throw away the excess products just to keep the prices up. If we improve distribution, there will be no shortage of necessities anywhere in the world.

Which leads us to the real issue before us: making sure that we get what we need so we can have a good life without worrying about subsistence. To do that, we must put behind us divisions that currently set us apart, such as racial tensions, political rivalries, power struggles of all kinds, cultural differences, and so forth. It may seem impossible to overcome these age-old differences, until we realize that it is precisely thanks to these disputes that we have developed our society, technology, and all that we have. In other words, in order to keep developing, we must preserve precisely the views that we oppose. Without them, our own views will lose their relevance.

Think of love without the existence of hate, and the word becomes meaningless. Think of freedom without captivity, and the whole concept becomes void. We wouldn’t be able to value, or evaluate anything were it not for the existence of its antonym.

Today, people are realizing that there really is no need to work so much, but unless we develop the social values to support this view, society will disintegrate and mayhem will ensue. For centuries, we have cultivated self-absorption to the point that today the vast majority of us are narcissists, plain and simple. A society of narcissists cannot build a distribution system that will see to the well-being of every person since such a system requires regard for the needs of other people, and too many of us simply don’t have it.

Therefore, the first thing to do in order to sail through the transition period toward a new society is to realize that we are dependent on each other, and especially on those who are opposite from us. We needn’t like people who think, speak, or act opposite from us, but we do need to recognize their value for us. We need to realize that they are the ones who render our own tenets valid. If we achieve this, we will realize that we can’t succeed without each other, or even be who we are. This is how interdependent we are.

We do not need to love, or even like each other, not yet anyway. All we need is to realize that those I hate are precisely the ones on whom my life depends. If we do that, we will have a society where people truly do not need to work, where they can spend their days in peace, since we’ll be watching out for one another.
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