What character…

April 9, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Has it happened to you, on a day when you felt your were all the pins at the end of the bowling alley and life just kept knocking you all down? Then, some callous fool told you, “Oh, come on now – this’ll build up your character!”

Is that the point of this one? 

What if the earth is just a petrie dish, an experiment to see how long it takes one species to completely dominate and ruin every other living thing on a single planet?

Maybe, there’s a whole slue of planets spinning around the endless galaxies, each with a set of many species, one of which, by some small quirk, like a thumb, has the advantage in a significant way, to dominate all the rest; a series of experiments to see if, inevitably, universal dominance of one, necessarily means complete repression and, largely elimination, of all the rest. 

Could it be a universal search for a collection of species that can live in harmony, each with all, in spite of an advantageous attribute in one?

Once each planet is overwhelmed by the destructiveness of the dominant species, the authors of this experiment may send an overseeing form of death to bring the experiment to an end, leaving the planet to spin for a couple of millennial to recover.

Are we the second or third experiment on this planet, called Earth? 

Goodness knows, in theory, the experiment has shown signs, over and over again, of being a colossal failure here, for there have been plenty of “deaths” sent down to wipe us out. Jumping forward from the first “speculative” (my quotation marks) plague in [now] China, 3000 B.C., evidenced by a mass grave, skeletons of people all ages.

Skip past the Plagues of Athens, 430 B.C., Antonine A.D. 165-180; Cyprian A.D. 250-271; The Black Death, 1346-1353, which killed off half the population of Europe; the American plagues of the 16th Century; the Great Plague of London, 1665-1666, with 100,000 dead, followed immediately by the Great Fire of London, September, 1666; five more plagues, lasting as long as three years, to the so-called Spanish flu 1918-1920 that did in 500 million people, globally. 

Since then, Asian flu, 1957-’58 and AIDS 1981 to now; each 30 years apart; swine flu in 2009, infected 1.4 billion people around the world; West African Ebola, 2014-16 and in Central and South America, the mosquito carrying Zika is still a danger, primarily to babies in the womb.

None of this is ever a warning to us of the next pandemic to come: not how to prevent it, not how to deal with it before it becomes a pandemic. Coronavirus may kill off a bunch of old Boomers but, so many sources predict, there will be another baby boom, as a result of it. 

Here’s the rub: this might not be an experiment. There could easily be no control on us – just the free will to create whatever kind of mess we like and to keep paying for our mean, sloppy ways, all the way to the next bug that tries to bump off as many of us as possible.

So, I wonder if that’s what COVID-19 is meant to be: character building for the whole of humanity. COVID-19 and Trump, who is one of this century’s one-person pandemics. 

Here we are in the 21st Century, still trying to figure it all out, now with the help of everybody- in- the- world’s opinion and we are still getting sick and allowing ourselves to be lead by the likes of Donald and his kin.

Yet and yet, there is hope. Perhaps, growing bored with Netflix, people are learning to bake their own bread; we are actually cooking and being forced to spend productive time with our children, rather than leaving them on line in their bedrooms.

We’re being pushed into home schooling – gosh, that should prove interesting in the long run. We are constantly aware of our global neighbours’ lives, all of whom are struggling with exactly the same dangers we are, accounting for the differences in cultures, and even those are reduced by our shared Coronavirus.

Character building to what? Allowing the compassion that is also a cornerstone of our characters to shine? This could the era of the good guys, the white hats, the true heroes, for this is not, in fact, a war. We are at an ever increasing time of peace and co-operation among human beings, a time when our existence-long mistakes are being shown for what they are and a chance to start listening to the free flowing revelations. 

Along with damage control of Coronavirus is a renewed conversation about healing the planet; fresh eyes on global, meaningful communication, shrinking the irrelevant divisions.

It’s brutal but could we change for the better by the end of it? 

After all, some leaders around the world, including our own Doug Ford, are admitting that the Tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny are essential services. There is hope for us.

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