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Enemy or Ally…COVID-19 ?

WHAT IF… by Gutpreet Gill

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.

And, What if…

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…

That all is interconnected.

What if…

the virus is here to help us?

To reset.
To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards – a deep meditation – rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.

To reconnect with self – what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?

To face our mortality – check back into “living” life rather than simply working, working, working.

To reconnect with our elders, who are so susceptible to this virus.

And, washing our hands – how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society

What if … it is one that is favorable for us?

What if … this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful and more kind to our environment.

This is an offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was time for a change, we all knew that.

And, change has arrived.

~ The Author is Gutpreet Gill who writes intuitive and thought provoking essays whose blog is http://gurpreetkgill.com ~

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I’m Gonna Be a Bear

In this life, I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you’re mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!

~  Author Unknown  ~

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“My Master Is There”

An elderly man went to visit his family doctor. As he was preparing to leave the patient said,

“Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”

Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

The man then quickly responded:

“You don’t know? You are a man of God and you do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door. On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said,

“Did you notice my dog? He didn’t know what was inside this room. He knew nothing except that his master was here. When the door opened, he sprang in with gladness and without fear.”

“I know little of what is on the other side of death. But I do know one thing, I know my Master is there, and that is enough.”

~ Author Unknown ~

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“Treating People Right”

When Julio Diaz stepped off the New York City subway platform after work one night, he was simply planning to walk over to his favorite local diner for a meal. But when a teenage boy approached him with a knife in his hand, Diaz, a 31-year-old social worker, knew the evening was about to take a more dramatic turn.

The young man demanded Diaz’s wallet, and Diaz passed it over without objection. But just as his mugger turned to walk away, Diaz called after him:

“Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something.”

The mugger turned around, surprised.

“If you’re going to be out on the streets for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”

The teenager looked at Diaz in disbelief and asked why he would do such a thing. Diaz replied,

“!f you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money.”

He then told the young man that he’d just been heading out for dinner and that he would be happy for some company.

“You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help,” Diaz told NPR’s StoryCorps.

The young mugger decided to take Diaz up on his offer, and they headed into Diaz’s favorite local diner together. As they were sitting at the table, the manager, the dishwashers, and the waiters all stopped over to say hello to Diaz, and the young man was really surprised at his popularity.

“You’re even nice to the dishwasher,” he exclaimed.

“Haven’t you been taught that you should be nice to everybody?” Diaz asked him.

“Yea, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way,” the teenager replied.

Thanks to Diaz, he was beginning to see that kindness wasn’t such a strange phenomenon, after all. When the bill came, Diaz told the teen that the teen would have to get the check. After all, he still had Diaz’s wallet.

The teenager slid the wallet back across the table without a moment’s thought, and Diaz treated him to dinner. Diaz then gave the would-be mugger $20. He figured maybe it’ll help him. But, Diaz asked for something in return, the teen’s knife. And he gave it to him.

“I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right,” Diaz said.

“It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”

~ The author is Michael Garofalo who wrote the story for the Morning Edition of National Public Radio. You can hear the interview between the author and Julio Diaz by clicking here ~

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Who I am – Makes a Difference

A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her high school seniors for the difference they made in her life. Then she presented each of them with a Blue Ribbon imprinted with gold letters, which read, “Who I Am Makes a Difference.”®

Afterwards, the teacher gave each of the students three more ribbons to acknowledge others, to see what impact it would have in their community. They were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom and report back to the class the following week.

One of the students honored a junior executive in a nearby company for helping him with his career planning. The student gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt just over his heart. Then the boy gave him two extra ribbons, explained their class project on acknowledgment and enlisted the executive’s help.

Later that day the junior executive went into his boss and told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on him.

His surprised boss said, “Well, sure.” After placing the ribbon above his boss’ heart, he asked him to support the efforts of the class project and pass on the extra ribbon. That night the grouchy boss went home to his 14-year-old son and sat him down. He said,

“The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me and gave me this blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine. He thinks I’m a creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says ‘Who I Am Makes a Difference’® on my jacket above my heart. Next, he gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor.”

“As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon and I thought about you, son. I want to honor you.”

“My days are really hectic and when I come home I don’t pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school or for your bedroom being a mess. But somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life.

“You’re a great kid and I love you!”

The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. He walked over to a drawer, pulled out a gun, stared at his father and, through his tears said,

“I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I don’t need to.”

When we show love and kindness to another, a wave is created the ripples through many lives.

~ The author is Helice Bridges who in 1983 founded Difference Makers International so that every child would grow up in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment in which they would know that who they are making a difference. Today the “Who I Am Makes A Difference” Blue Ribbon Programs have impacted the lives of over 26 million people throughout the world. To Order Blue Ribbons please call 800-997-8422 or go online to www.blueribbons.org ~

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