May seems to have been a month of contrasts. From the weather to the pandemic, with an ample pinch of finger pointing. At last, as we enter the month of June, the warmer weather seems to be here. Vaccination programs seem to be having a positive effect on the spread of COVID 19. However the advent of other variants along with high infection rates in some countries seem to temper this good news with some caution and concern.
Rightly or wrongly, the newspapers and media are full of critics of the past handling of the pandemic… The cause, the decisions made, contracts awarded… “we should have done this… we should not have done that…
I’m sure some mistakes have been made but perhaps we should also keep in mind how hindsight is is sometimes categorised as 20-20 vision.
Likewise for the future, there are many voices calling for restrictions to be lifted whilst other are calling for them to remain.
I’m afraid I don’t know the answers.
Thomas Merton in his journal (May 27th 1967), towards the end of his life, talks of being ‘open to the world’. It’s negatives and it’s positives, it’s pleasure and it’s pain. This particular journal was written amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam war, along with his own questions of life and faith. On the surface, it’s all rather depressing, but beneath the surface there is an emerging, peaceful understanding. An understanding of great strength… one of ‘unknowing’.
In my place of work I am regularly quizzed as to my thoughts on the news and opinions of the day, especially about assigning blame for the past and what ‘should be done in the future…’ More and more, when pressed for an answer, my replies tend towards the, ‘I don’t know’. And I am slowly becoming more at peace with this position… I’m sure many would consider this to be a cowardly non committed attitude. However for me it is becoming a simple acknowledgement of my own limited understanding of many things. In fact I have a growing sense of being at peace with my own lack of understanding and a simple desire “to be”. So I’ll finish with a quote from and unusual source to reflect my own desire to do the best I can today. To simply explore the moment and the galaxies of experience that can exist in that moment. The quote is from the animated film, “Kung fu Panda”.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift… that’s why they call it the present”
― Master Oogway