As I was thinking about the word “crisis,” I found that in Greek it means “turning point” or “great turning.” So are we at a crisis, a great turning? We’ve faced them all before, but never in this country at the same time. A global ecological crisis from global warming, a political crisis like none since Watergate, the coronavirus, illnesses, deaths worldwide and economic crises: joblessness, hunger, homelessness, all coming from stay-at-home orders.
Will we return to the way our lives were before? I hope not! We know we were living unsustainable lives, consuming too much, taking life too much for granted, and abusing creation in more ways than could be counted. Too many were and are living on the edge, not earning a decent wage for a day’s work.
In the midst of this turning point, we’re consuming less, pollution is clearing from cities, we’re looking out for each other in new ways and not taking as much for granted.
So what are we learning from this disruptive crisis as we make our way through this turning point? We know it’s more important than ever for all to have access to good health care, to have enough food, to earn a living wage. We know how vital our relationships are.
I believe that our questions shouldn’t be how or when we’re ever going to get back to normal, but how we can insist that this crisis creates a new “normal,” and that this great turning will lead to a better country and a better world.
Portia Miles Smith
Oakland

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