For example, (and more so before social distancing), when we touch the hand of another person, we don’t pay attention and take time to feel the hand. Rather, our mind goes straight to what this touching means, to the relationship this represents.
We (locally and globally) are busy imagining all kinds of things through what we hear and see, through social media and through other means. We imagine being part of a world that really plays itself out in our heads. In this imagined reality, facts contradict themselves, lies circulate. The political and economic powerful have the upper hand in this construction of a make-believe-world. “No, the virus is not so bad”, “The crisis is made up by others” are some of these lies.
Now, a very real thing, a virus, has shown us the limitations of our imaginary. The virus has shown us that the real and concrete world, nature, is still boss.
We need to listen to science and pay attention to nature, the real and the concrete. Our abstract imaginary fantasies in politics and social life are destroying the basis of our natural habitat including ourselves.
We cannot fight the virus by playing politics. We cannot save a dying person by fuzzing that a prediction model was off, or by praising ourselves living in the greatest country on Earth. And the same goes for all our natural resources and for our planet Earth. We can only save them by paying attention to them.
Look around you – who is essential now? It is people who can do real stuff – saving lives with medicine, providing food, making equipment, cleaning the streets, taking away rubbish.
Politicians and politics are only as good as they can provide lasting and sustained well-being for all (people of all create, animals, plants, and the global environment) and for generations to come.
But we are the people who need to ensure that such politics is practiced and supported – and one way we can do this is by listening to nature and by appreciating us in the real, by seeing one another for who we are, beautiful and love-starved human beings who have real, concrete needs and who have so much more in common than divides us.