Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pandemic as Opportunity?

The pandemic is tragic.  Nothing good can be said for it.  Nevertheless, it does give pause.  Pause, in itself, creates an unusual opportunity.  

Liminality is the idea (often applied in grief work) that there is a time when the past or familiar is unattainable, when we are at a threshold into a new reality that we do not welcome. During a time in life while we are learning the contours of a new and perhaps unwelcome reality (e.g. widowhood, or life after pandemic) and constructing our new reality and paradigms in such a way that we more readily cope with it, the world feels like we are wandering in a wildnerness (or, sometimes the analogy of a door threshhold is used). 

Liminal space is a very uncomfortable place to endure, because everything is unsettled. On the other hand, liminal space is also rife with creative possibility as we can remake ourselves (or our society) in whatever way we choose. I think the pandemic creates a liminal space for us individually, and collectively. 

As tragic, disruptive, and unsettling as these times are, we should not squander the opportunity caused by this disruption to rethink paradigms and assumptions about the way things are or should be. That applies to us individually, and to us as a society. There will be a new normal. I hope and pray that the opportunity is taken to create a better normal, for each of us and collectively.

We cannot return to the "way things were."  We have opportunity to choose a new direction.  What direction will that be?  

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