CommunityPeopleRon Baker

From Our Latest Issue: So Much for Change!

By Ron Baker

Pandemics and climate change – that’s all we needed!

We are trying to figure out normal in this time of change, and we have come up with an overworked phrase, the “new normal”.

I remember encountering the phrase when my first wife passed away. The grief was overwhelming – who knew what was to come. I was moving into a new normal.

Eight years later I’m living a normal life that does not look the same as life in the past. I expect that is what is going to happen as I look at this pandemic and as I adjust to climate change and other perceived threats to my life.

Life is and will not be the same. Change is afoot, around the corner and near to each of us.

What is happening to us?

Change attacks you – body, soul and spirit.

We cloak these old philosophical and religious terms in new jargon. We talk about evidence-based-approaches to the world around us, grief and exhilaration related to our present situation, and the capacity to maintain a strong mental health as we move forward in our life. Or as one Doctor (Lalit Chawla) stated in an online session advertisement, we “leverage and bring into balance your inner psychology, physical body, external environment and the people around you.”

We will survive is our cry. We have become aware of the best ways to adapt. We have turned to our governments to provide direction. We look at outliers as conspiracy theorists, best left alone.

But is our survival in trouble? If so, how?

We have undermined any sense of ultimate truth and any reason for coordinated community action. Our truth and trust has been placed in our governments, in our own innate ability to know what is true, and sometimes in out-landish beings that fatalistically push us forward.

If that last paragraph sounded a little too philosophical – here’s another old religious phrasing. We have trusted in the world, the flesh and the devil. All of which have failed – in history and in the personal lives of those around us.

Which brings me to the final question of the day.

Who, or what, has not changed? Where can we put our ultimate trust?

OK, that was two questions – both of which are worth considering!

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