Trying Times

In these times, we become aware that we had been distracted, pretending that we could control everything. Reality has forced us into an isolation. We are so used to a thousand ways of running away from ourselves, have perhaps now been forced to stop and think during this time.

We have been ripped out of the comfort zones in which we were planted and seized by questions that we usually, in a more or less intentional way, avoid or drown out with our daily routines. Now, you turn your gaze inward, to that typically neglected realm, to learn who you are. What are you doing in the world? What is the point of your life? [These reflections are truly a step forward in becoming more human, because living without knowing ourselves is not exactly the best path to self-realization or to finding meaning in our lives.” Every crisis, every deep and urgent call from reality, as Hannah Arendt teaches us, “forces us back to the questions” they cause our spirit to blossom with all its need for meaning and cry out, “Why?”

We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented.. The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes the souls of our people; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly ‘save’ us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away.

What we need, therefore, more than any reassuring speeches or moral instructions, is to tap into the people who embody the experience of victory, of an embrace that allows us to face the tender wounds of our suffering and pain, witnesses to the fact that there is a meaning in life proportionate to its challenges.