Today, David found out that he was laid off from both of his jobs because of the world wide shutdown caused by the panic around COVID-19. In the past, David would have responded with anger and hurt but he’s matured over the last couple of years and understands the shutdown is temporary.
This evening, he decided we should watch The Croods, the Disney movie about cave people and their journey out of the darkness to the light. The dad, Grug, taught his family to be afraid and his favourite expression was “never not be afraid.” He kept his family sheltered in a cave, in the dark and they struggled to survive day to day.
His daughter Eep however, was the opposite. She questioned why they needed to be afraid and wanted to understand the reason for their existence.
Of course, a crisis presents itself in the form of tectonic plate shifts that we know as earthquakes. The end of the world was coming and they were not equipped to deal with it until Guy shows up. He was a young man who experienced the loss of his family but before Guy’s family died, they encouraged him to follow the sun and he would find tomorrow. Even though he lost loved ones, he never lost sight of the light.
Together, the Croods and Guy had adventures that lead them through fantastical landscapes and discovered amazing creatures and of course, the light. The Croods discovered they could deal with anything and even began enjoying life because they were open to the possibilities that following the light brought them.
At one point, Grug was pushing the family to enter yet another cave after theirs was destroyed. When the family resisted being pushed into the cave, Grug yelled he was trying to keep them alive. Eep responded with living in a cave was not living, it was just not dying and there was a difference. There was a difference indeed.
Finally, in the end, Grug became their source of strength. They were on the edge of a chasm. With fire and dust all around, they lost sight of the light and Grug was the one who reminded them that the light didn’t shine in the caves. They had to continue to live and follow the sun.
The movie very much parallels what we are experiencing in our world today with COVID-19. I’ve been watching a world fall into darkness and lose sight of the light. We forget that we live in a world that lives, breathes, creates life and takes life. Every living being on this planet is born and dies.
While it’s certainly not my desire for people to die of COVID=19 or any disease, the reality is we are human. The only constants are change and death. It’s what we do with the life we are given that matters.
I’ve met people who are so afraid of dying, they aren’t living. They are paralyzed by fear and allow themselves to be controlled by untruths and speculations. I suspect it’s not death they’re afraid of.
Could they be afraid of not having the adventures they thought they’d have? Could they be regretting that they haven’t made an impact on the world they imagined they would? I’ve know people who’d accomplished their goals and dreams and, in the end, they were quite prepared to die.
As with any world event, we are entering a period of uncertainty but we can be sure the world will not be the same. Entire countries have been shutdown. The political will to take action has harnessed a tremendous amount of energy and money to flatten the effect this virus has on our medical system and slow its progress.
Imagine if the political will was there to bring world peace, to solve world hunger and to ensure everyone had access to clean water? No longer can governments and political leaders tell us something is not possible. COVID-19 has surely proved that isn’t true.
On a personal note, this time of uncertainty is a time to be celebrated and leveraged. It’s an opportunity for me to reinvent myself and decide who I would like to be and what I would like accomplish in this new world order.
Before COVID-19, I followed the light. During this event, I continue to follow the light and it brings me peace. Someday, I will die. I don’t know when and I don’t know how but I do know that if my time is now, I’m at peace with it. If I live through this event, I’ll continue to follow the light because I choose to live while I’m alive. This is not the first pandemic I’ve lived through and it won’t be the last.
Like the Croods, we face a great upheaval. COVID-19 has us on the edge of the chasm. Smoke and fire are billowing and blocking out the light. Unlike the Croods however, COVID-19 and the ensuing panic is entirely man made. Mother Nature has not played a part in this event.
We are being forced into darkness or to look for the light. It’s time to go quiet and go within. We can use this opportunity to take stock of our lives and decide the direction we could take when this event is done. We have total control over our reaction to this event. Will we be like Grug and look for another cave or will we be like Guy and following the light to tomorrow?
Perspective is everything.
Follow the light to tomorrow for there are many tomorrows to come.