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Humanity in the Age of CoVid

I RESOLVED A LONG TIME AGO not to include COVID in any of my posts. For me, it is already too much on our minds. Too much darkness cannot cancel out the light, but it can create too much a place of shadows.

BUT THIS WEEK, I came across several ideas I wanted to share with you. I thought you might find some encouragement in these thoughts. Bear with me.

The first is secular. It’s about a man (Dennis Santiago) who attended his first corporate meeting in downtown Los Angeles in a year. It was an intelligent article about the threat of COVID, the future of science here.

He writes, “I feel a little bit like Shakespeare writing sonnets, trying to find the upbeat note with my friends. Sonnets are poems from the era of the great plagues when Shakespeare encouraged his patrons to not give up on living despite the clouds of doom that hung over life in those times.”

The writer includes his own “sonnets” for 2022: “The truest loss is to lose our humanity.” “Seek the smiles in the darkness.” “Feel the humanity that still surrounds us.” “It hides only if we cloud our eyes.”

C.S. Lewis, an atheist and spiritualist who became a Christian, wrote, “Any patch of sunlight in the wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy.” He encourages us to find “pure and spontaneous pleasures,” which he refers to as “patches of ‘God-light,’ simple things to be grateful for in life.

IN HIS ESSAY “On Living in the Atomic Age,” Lewis writes to people about the unimaginable: “If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let it find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs."

"Munitions break our bodies" he adds. "(Any microbe can do that), but they need not dominate our minds.”

Winston Churchill faced his darkest hour, both personally and as Prime Minister, when the Nazis threatened to invade England. Still, he could say, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

Fear is entirely predictable when we come up against anything that threatens to overwhelm us. Courage requires more work; it is a choice we make. It is a conscious choice, a determination, every day.

If you’re looking for street language, Churchill tells us, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Keep your strength up. Persevere. Stay the Course and Stay Steady.

Words we still need to hear some 80 years later.