Emergence Magazine

“Thrown all together, in one unrelenting present, we are made to recognize in one another what we deny most vehemently about ourselves: In the end, it’s our vulnerability that connects us.”
—Jon Mooallem
As we wake up each morning amidst an unfolding global pandemic crisis—one that is bringing rapid and unexpected change into our lives—many are asking how best to respond.

Uncertainty in times of crisis breeds fear and anxiety, but it can also uncover opportunities for greater connection and attention to the threads of relationship that so profoundly connect us. It is our vulnerability that can, ultimately, bring us closer together.

With the coronavirus quickly spreading, there is an ever-growing list of things we can’t and shouldn’t do—practical and critical steps to keep ourselves, our communities, and those we love safe. But beyond the immediate needs, what are the broader responsibilities we all share in how we respond to this crisis? In such dire times, what can we do to respond from a place of reflection and not just reaction?

Over the past few decades, one of the significant challenges to waking up to the ecological crisis has been that we’re not always directly impacted by it. Urgent calls to action often go unanswered when we experience the great privilege of ecological disaster happening to someone else, somewhere else. It seems only when we are thrust directly into the storm that we begin to realize the extent of our interconnectedness. We can see more clearly both the negative consequences of failing to tend to threads of relationship and real opportunities for growth and change.

We have been asking ourselves: what are the growing edges of uncertainty? What can we learn? What are new ways to practice empathy, compassion, resilience, and stillness? Responses can be as simple as not forgetting the beauty and humanity that is present all around us, even in times of fear and chaos. The living world—whether the budding tree outside our window or the sounds of birdsong—can help orient us to a wider community, and be a grounding source of solace and reassurance.

Perhaps most importantly, we can strive to remember that we are in this together, that we must support our local and global communities, and not be afraid to reflect deeply on the opportunity our vulnerability offers us at this time.

In solidarity,

The Emergence Magazine Team