“Those who do not heed the lessons of history are destined to repeat it.”
In this case, it is the history of our fellow man and the recycling of our basic instincts.
The entire world is experiencing a situation we hoped would never happen, especially in the era of modern medicine. This experience has made us re-evaluate how we relate to one another in a civil society.
This pandemic has brought us to a new reality and several “new normals” going forward. As much as we have been keeping ourselves socially distant from our communities, in the short run, we now have empirical evidence that relationships are the centerpieces of a prosperous life.
Most organized religions, including Catholicism, believe that the cornerstone of our faith rests on the sanctity and dignity of the human being. We are social creatures in need of human contact, relationships and community. We need and enjoy people. We cannot live in a world of solitary isolation.
Each person has dignity, purpose and a place where they contribute to society. Those that can’t contribute are the most vulnerable, and the way we treat them is the standard by which we are judged as a society.
There will be many new adaptations of how we do things going forward. However, one thing has certainly been made clear, no one person can go through life totally independent. We all need to participate in a society that promotes the best for all the people in it.
Since the beginning of time, people have banded together for the common good, or societal need, because individuals cannot make it through this life alone. People started out depending on family and tribes, known as “family bonds,” and as societal interests grew larger so did the need to go outside the family or tribe. Allying with others outside the family, the group took on issues and needs greater than their own, for the common good.
This model eventually grew into governments, guilds and unions, corporations, business and country alliances, even religions and churches. Today we find ourselves banding together as an allied union of the world, using our best practices and our latest intellectual technologies to slow and stop this virus, for the social good of all.
This pandemic seems to have brought perspective into focus. That is, as unique and independent as we are, we cannot survive the confinement of being in one place with just a few people. Perhaps going forward we can get it right, where everyone is included to participate in, and fits in, a society that works for all. This desire for societal relationships lives in the DNA of each of us and is shown to us throughout our human history. Let us heed this lesson that history has taught us again. We need each other.