The E Word

We, as inhabitants of this lovely planet, have never experienced a time when we did not face major challenges.  The Earth is, after all, a school.  The way that I see it, all who are incarnated here now have chosen to participate in the specific lessons offered.  That’s you and that’s me, bub.  Yep, sometimes the curriculum seems unnecessarily harsh, so it pays to remember that this is what we signed up for.  Every challenge faced and overcome has taught us how to be better humans.  This is how we rise higher and higher in our knowing, our understanding of All That Is.  Challenge teaches us how glorious we are.

I don’t want to talk in generalities about the grand challenges mankind has faced over eons of history.  I’m thinking just about some of those pivotal events that have added color, depth, and shade to my personal life over only seven-and-a-half decades.

I was born into World War II and in my infancy my father went off to defend us against an enemy bent on doing great harm in the world.  My dad did not return to us.  We created a different-looking life for ourselves and went on, as did everyone the world over.  Since that time we have been at war somewhere in the world constantly, I think.  Yet fear of war does not overcome us.  We learn and learn again and keep going.

In my childhood polio was a global threat.  I remember the air of fear around the word without real understanding.  What I did understand was that I was not allowed in the summer time to go to the public swimming pool, to a movie theater, or to any place a crowd might gather.  The adults in my life were fearful, particularly for me and all the other children of the world.  Good minds met this challenge and we have a polio vaccine that keeps this threat at bay.  Rejoice!

Since the polio time, we have faced epidemics of bird flu, swine flu, SARS, H1N1, Aids.  And then there’s the likes of Hurricane Katrina.  We fight autism, addictions, terrorism, crime, abuse, cancer, and so forth.  Each one causes us first to be fearful, but soon to be practical instead.  We are figuring out what to do and we’re doing it.  We don’t stop living because of what MIGHT happen. We are carrying on.

No one who was sentient at the time will ever forget the tragedy of 9/11 or the fear that arose immediately like a black noxious fog over the entire planet.  We felt flattened by sorrow as well, but we work at recovery and we carry on.  And oh, how much we learned about the world and our place in it.

You know what I’m getting at.  Those of us in Dallas have lived for the last few weeks right in an epicenter of fear.  Yes, that’s the E word–EBOLA.  Dallas sure does make the international news for the most regrettable reasons.  This city has not yet totally healed from having been the site of the Kennedy assassination.  Seriously.  And now we’re seen as somehow having allowed ebola to cross our sacred national borders.  Jeepers!

There is fear-based craziness in our city right now.  The facts so far are that one infected person came to Dallas from Africa, and after some days of medical care he died here.  Two of the nurses who cared for him contracted ebola and are in treatment now.  One of those nurses took a commercial flight in and out of Dallas to visit family before developing symptoms.  Anyone with even the slightest reasonable chance of exposure is in monitored quarantine for 21 days.

The media has gone berserk with this story, stoking the reasonable fear until it is a red-hot forest fire of UN-reasonable fear.  It’s the only story on the news and it repeats and repeats and repeats–we’re lucky to get a weather report.  News broadcasts run into other programs, or jump into the middle with “breaking news” which is a re-hash of old news.  We actually watched for at least 15 minutes as a camera focused on an ambulance in a parking lot.  It never moved but if we didn’t watch it constantly we might miss something about the patient’s move to Atlanta.  We turned it off of course, and we know the nurse made it to Atlanta without our constant attention.

We expect our local medical communities to recognize and rise to any emergency, and in this case the local hospital that received that first patient was admittedly not prepared for such an overwhelmingly difficult situation.  There has been much criticism; there have been apologies and lessons learned.  Sadly, there has been vilification and character assassination as well.  I truly wish that the cruel spreading of blame (even to the victims themselves) with a broad brush wasn’t happening in my city, for no one here set out to do their job badly.

We expect our local and national leaders to step up at a time like this, and for the most part they have done so to the best of their ability.  We are grateful.  But sometimes politics show up, and you see folks vying for more TV time than the next guy, or even one party placing blame on the other and a whole lot of yadda yadda yadda that adds nothing to the discussion or the solution.  It’s all about getting your name out there. Yuck!

So in the meantime some Dallasites don’t have a clue what to do or what to think because they’re scared.  People are placing themselves in isolation for no reason, keeping kids out of school, closing schools, cancelling regular doctor appointments, staying off public transportation, thinking they may needs masks and gloves to go about their daily lives.  I told you, things are a little crazy in Dallas right now.

Please, people, just BREATHE.  It’s going to be okay.  We’ve dealt with tough stuff before and we will again.  And again. And again.  Any human life is a series of lessons that make us stronger and better, giving us the knowledge of who we are.

Fear does not serve us in any way.  Let it go.

Love is everything.





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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 5:21 pm and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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