Will you be safe? The short answer is, no.
But that isn’t the end of everything! The good news is when we meet this deep fear head on, then we can get to what is most important: what do I do until then to not feel angry and afraid?
Two Primary Negative Emotions Drive Humans
Hate, anger, fear, suffering, pain, resistence, depression, anxiety, grief, hopelessness all in the end stem from fear. But to work out where many of us are right now in the face of great uncertainty, concern, and overwhelming discomfort about our future let’s focus on just two:
Step one is to just acknowledge both the fear of not surviving or suffering greatly and the anger at what we don’t want to happen, happening may become very, very real.
Step two is that the peak point of crisis is different for each person. Crisis only gets real when it affects our lives or the lives of someone we care about.
My crisis isn’t your crisis may feel cold and blunt - but as humans in the west this is how we most often see it. We might give money or offer words or prayers, but deep down it doesn’t feel real until our five senses are engaged: we see, hear, feel, touch, and smell what is happening around us.
Fear and Anger Affect Each of Us in Different Ways
Each human reacts to both positive and negative emotion in their own way. For the purpose here, there is no right or wrong way - just what we do. Okay, then what?
Most humans do one of two things when they are in fear: seek more control or look to someone else to take control.
You can see how that can create problems both individually but also in families, communities, and nations. Rarely is there agreement about anything.
When humans become angry again, two primary reactions: attack what is outside of us externally or collapse within ourselves internally.
Both fear and anger also prompt the reaction to solve the problem. If I control, change, or influence what I believe is causing me fear or anger, then I will be safe.
But when faced with a global crisis that is out of our control and invisible to our eyes - this leads to not being able to do much but wait and see what happens next.
And that feeling drives the panic and reactionary response we see all around us.
A Western Civilization Response to Crisis
Western Culture has its own response to crisis as does each nation state, ethnicity, microculture, region and so on.
Like the cows in the video, most humans are domesticated and have a small range of skills and tools to manage the uncertainty of our future in a hands on kind of way. We have a learned response to wait and see what we are told to then think and do. We have been conditioned to follow rules, even when it means our death.
Unfortunately, western culture also operates from the place of trying to consume to solve problems, hide out from them, or kill to make the problem go away. And for those who have forgetten the lessons of nature and the land, total denial about what is means to live as a human.
But in many humans, deep down, there is also a memory of survival that depended on taking action as circumstance dictated.
We are there now.
What is Next?
I believe that as humans we have everything we need to survive. I believe this earth will provide everything we need to survive. I also believe that it is hard work to do this and it takes great discipline to do the work consistently enough every year to see the results.
Humans are built to seek connections. The main advice to stay safe right now is to distance from other humans socially. Is that really our best option?
Temporarily maybe. Long term, no.
This crisis is a wake up call many have known was coming, but not ready to do what is necessary to minimize it. Crisis may bring fear and anger, but it is also very powerful in creating action long left on the shelf waiting for ‘someday’ - which just might be now.
The good news is this is not the end of most humans. The bad news is that whether this emergency winds down in a few months or carries on for many years life as we know it will change for anyone paying attention.
So let me leave you with this. YOU have everything you need within in you every moment of every day. Your life is unique to you and the lessons of it also.
And here’s the bottom line. Yes you will die one day. Yes you will suffer at times in this life. But, death is one day and suffering is a season. You and your life is so much more than these tiny windows of time.
Our greatest power lies in our ability to decide so much in our life. We can’t control much of what goes on out in the world, but we can decide to do the work to train and maintain the skills and tools to manage whatever life is - until it is not.
I like to say: Stay human. Live free. Die Wild.
What do you like to say? It’s your life until it isn’t - until then, LIVE.