I Am Because We Are, and So We Will Rebuild in the Aftermath

By Louis Colombo (March 22, 2020)

Lots of doom and posts prophesying the end of the world. No doubt, these are some unsettling times and it’s hard to know where the bottom is. No doubt too that there’s lots of reasons to be concerned for yourself, your loved ones, and even folks you’ve never met.

But here’s the thing. From where I sit, it looks like the vast majority of people have agreed to disrupt their lives in some really radical ways, not just to protect themselves and their loved ones, but to stop this thing from spreading to the stranger they’ve never met.

Lots of folks are opening up with new ways of being in community online, sharing things with folks they don’t know, and for free. Folks are picking up the phone, checking in with neighbors they might never had occasion to speak to.

We’re recognizing – and hopefully not forgetting – the value of work we might have once ignored. We’re recognizing that we need support, all of, some more than others, and we’re doing so without shame or stigma. Let’s remember that.

I don’t know what a new normal will look like, but with any luck and a lot of courage, it just might look like something built more on love and solidarity, for in our moment of isolation, what are we learning if not how connected we all are, how much we need one another, how much community is the basis for our individuality. Hold that. I am because we are, and so we rebuild in the aftermath.

This will be bad for a while. It might get better and then worse before it gets better. We may see the worst in some folks. But I’m willing to bet that we’ll see the best in a whole lot more. And we will get through.


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