The Raw and the Cooked

The Raw

These days are raw. Emotions well up. The real world is overwhelming us quite literally.

Exponential change is not our normal world. Exponential change happens slowly at first then suddenly becomes large and all consuming. People will be surprised by the rapidity of changes. The later we respond the more drastic the action required. It’s now that time.

Drastic changes mean that we are forced to react and react to our reactions. Before we are settled on one new set of rules the changes come again. At the same time we are dealing with stories we never imagined in our modern life. We are coping with fear, panic and losss. We struggle to make sense of how the world works now. No wonder things seem raw.

The Cooked

We need to recognise that the stories we hear, the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we tell each other fit into a larger system. These stories come from community and they are suffused with culture. Now is the time to sustain these connections, even in our isolation. Especially because of our isolation.

Community is what enables us to realise our human potential. If we are ever to convert our talents from their raw state to something more valuable it will be because of, supported by, and for our communities. Purpose does not lie in us. It lies in our contributions to others. The harder it gets the more important our contribution is. The obstacles are the work.

We feel raw because we care. We care for ourselves. We care for others. Human beings are inherently social. Care, culture and community is what has enabled and sustained our society. In raw times, we must not abandon these critical enablers. We must redouble our commitment to them. They are our path forward together.

Care, culture and community help us to look beyond today. We feel today like all we can see is the loss. We may yet lose very big things like jobs, incomes, wealth, status, and more importantly the lives of ones we love. What we don’t lose is our potential to recover, to rebuild and to renew. We will mourn our losses together at some point in the future but we will go on and make something new and better again together. We cannot see it clearly now but we can make the next phase better together with care and community.

Today you have the simple choice. You will be raw in your experience of this threatening world. Forgive yourself for the rawness, the pain, the regret and the loss. They are real. Give yourself also the time to reach out, to care for others, to share stories and to embrace the culture and community within which we live. Others need help more than ever now. Your contact and concern could be the most important gesture in their life today.

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