This, too, shall pass

What we are facing today has been likened to a "war," and is such in various ways. There is a nefarious 'enemy' looking to kill and maim. There are uniformed armies going into battle. New recruits are being called up to this army and old 'soldiers' are being called back to service. There are small victories being declared and large losses (we have reason to believe) being hidden. And there is that proverbial "fog of war" that is preventing even truth seekers from truly finding what they seek,. And to that we must add that other common creation of war: rumors and suspicion.

Both things that the fearful in general and the credulous by nature especially grab hold of and spread, creating what amounts to a second "front," or in this case a second "disease" - that with casualties all its own.

And as in any war there are generals taking the lead -- some with great (although not necessarily lauded) success -- and lower-ranked officers who are vying to see their own plans put into action, both for reasons good and ill.

All this while the greater number are trying their best to hunker down, to as needed do without, and as able to make their own small daily contributions to the greater effort. And a small number looking for personal gain -- the "profiteers." Yes, all this just as it is in every war.

And then there is that ever-present fear. Fear for loved ones. Fear for our own selves and our futures as we expected them to unfold. Fears for society as a whole. A society that is changing before our eyes -- and with that, the possibly greater fear that the society which we loved, or at least in which we felt comfortably secure, may never return.

Wars, pestilence and famine have always brought these things; have always been a part of the human experience -- just as much as has been heat and cold and damp.

But just as modern life has to a large degree shielded most of us from the effects of those things - that heat and cold and damp -- so most of us have to a remarkable degree been shielded, not only from the direct threat of wars, pestilences and famines, but even from the idea that such could be our lot.

This morning missive shall not end with The Answer, for no such singular "answer" exists. But it does end with an admonition: That each of us -- you, me, our families, our neighbors, our communities our states, and our nation -- should work to make the best of these current realities. To learn from them. To equally be willing to lead and to follow. To put forth ideas, yes, but not to sneer at the ideas of others. To realize that while each of our lives is important -- central to us as living beings -- that there is also an overall "good" that must be kept keenly in mind. To realize and accept that the weak will now require extra help, and that those who are strong will have to use that strength - and possibly allow some of it to be stripped away -- for our common survival.

And all the above as we realize that what is "now" is not just now -- it is, and has been, common to all mankind through all of history.

But it is also "now" in another sense. The one expressed in that old, very common, and very wise phrase: "This, too, shall pass."

Image credit: Spc. Ryan Hallock, U.S. Army public domain

What we are facing today has been likened to a "war," and is such in various ways. There is a nefarious 'enemy' looking to kill and maim. There are uniformed armies going into battle. New recruits are being called up to this army and old 'soldiers' are being called back to service. There are small victories being declared and large losses (we have reason to believe) being hidden. And there is that proverbial "fog of war" that is preventing even truth seekers from truly finding what they seek,. And to that we must add that other common creation of war: rumors and suspicion.

Both things that the fearful in general and the credulous by nature especially grab hold of and spread, creating what amounts to a second "front," or in this case a second "disease" - that with casualties all its own.

And as in any war there are generals taking the lead -- some with great (although not necessarily lauded) success -- and lower-ranked officers who are vying to see their own plans put into action, both for reasons good and ill.

All this while the greater number are trying their best to hunker down, to as needed do without, and as able to make their own small daily contributions to the greater effort. And a small number looking for personal gain -- the "profiteers." Yes, all this just as it is in every war.

And then there is that ever-present fear. Fear for loved ones. Fear for our own selves and our futures as we expected them to unfold. Fears for society as a whole. A society that is changing before our eyes -- and with that, the possibly greater fear that the society which we loved, or at least in which we felt comfortably secure, may never return.

Wars, pestilence and famine have always brought these things; have always been a part of the human experience -- just as much as has been heat and cold and damp.

But just as modern life has to a large degree shielded most of us from the effects of those things - that heat and cold and damp -- so most of us have to a remarkable degree been shielded, not only from the direct threat of wars, pestilences and famines, but even from the idea that such could be our lot.

This morning missive shall not end with The Answer, for no such singular "answer" exists. But it does end with an admonition: That each of us -- you, me, our families, our neighbors, our communities our states, and our nation -- should work to make the best of these current realities. To learn from them. To equally be willing to lead and to follow. To put forth ideas, yes, but not to sneer at the ideas of others. To realize that while each of our lives is important -- central to us as living beings -- that there is also an overall "good" that must be kept keenly in mind. To realize and accept that the weak will now require extra help, and that those who are strong will have to use that strength - and possibly allow some of it to be stripped away -- for our common survival.

And all the above as we realize that what is "now" is not just now -- it is, and has been, common to all mankind through all of history.

But it is also "now" in another sense. The one expressed in that old, very common, and very wise phrase: "This, too, shall pass."

Image credit: Spc. Ryan Hallock, U.S. Army public domain