I think this confronts all of us with the things in our lives that are fragile, that are easily shaken; where we don’t have strength, we don’t have resilience in our workplace, in our health, in our relationships, in our circumstances; and even internally, how easily we might be able…be overcome with a sudden event of this nature
And I would like to just really emphasize something about the nature of this pandemic. A worldwide pandemic of this size is something that we know some things about. We have a history of these in our world going way, way back. And I think it’s important for us, each of us, to begin to take the long view on this. This is a big event. It will likely last for years and come in waves.
This is what happens when global pandemics strike. And not only will that create a Great Wave of change, certainly, but the impact on the economies of the world, as Reed has mentioned, will also be a devastating impact, and that may last for a very long time, too. So I want to encourage you not just to think of this as a temporary inconvenience, something that is taking you out of the normal flow of your life and you just can’t wait to get back. This is something that is altering the landscape. And it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of you. So much of what we have and know will continue. But it’s important now to take stock of your life, as Patricia said, and to begin to consider where you’re strong and where you’re weak.
I think of these in terms of the Four Pillars of life, as if they’re the four legs of a table holding up your life. You have the Pillar of Relationships, the Pillar of Work, the Pillar of Health, and then the Pillar of Spiritual Development. [See Living The Way of Knowledge, chapters 2-6.] And your life is only as stable as the weakest of those Pillars, if you can think of the analogy of the four legs of a table. You can’t really put anything on a table, you can’t put anything greater on a person’s life, if those Pillars are not strong enough to uphold them.
So we have an immense opportunity as well as an immense crisis. And the opportunity is something we’re going to explore together today of what that can mean for your life as a new turning point, a new beginning, a time to gain greater strength, greater focus and greater direction.
So I think the impact for each one of us is unique and different. For some of us it’s very extreme, for others not quite as much. But nonetheless, we’re all facing a very uncertain future. We’re going to go into a new normal. No one knows what that looks like. No one knows when it’s going to take shape. No one knows when this pandemic is going to conclude. No one can see, totally, the impact this is going to have on our cultures and nations and economies. So we’re living in a time of great uncertainty, which is what happens at a great turning point in human civilization. So this requires for us, then, to begin to not just want answers and conclusions and remedies, but to be able to develop the strength to live at a time of great uncertainty, a time of great change.
At a time of great change is also when the greatest innovations occur, the greatest advancement, the social development, the greatest technological advancement, the greatest spiritual advancement can take place. Because under very normal circumstances, great things don’t happen for most people. So while this is a tragic and overwhelming situation on one hand, it also is a window and an opportunity for each one of us to reconsider our lives and perhaps to move in a new direction.
Marshall discusses the impact global pandemics can have on the world, as well as the opportunity of COVID19 for re-evaluating our lives and building the strength and resilience we will need to navigate a changing world.
This clip is an excerpt from a live broadcast, Living in the COVID19 Pandemic: How to Get Centered in Uncertain Times, April 18, 2020.