Share the Treasure. There's Plenty to Go Around
Embracing collective consciousness for the good of our global family.
Posted Jul 29, 2020
Why is it that when it begins to rain we run for cover? This morning, the sky was dreary and dark, overcast with gray clouds weighed down by moisture. One could feel in the air a hefty downpour was about to unleash.
I was sitting near a blue spruce, looking out at our lake when I first felt one raindrop, then two, and in an instant, thousands falling from the saturated heavens. Instinctively, I began to run back to the protection of our home, but I was halted in my footsteps as I felt a strong urge to stay right where I was. Within this rainstorm, a truth was about to unfold for me. As a silent participant, I became a passive witness to the wonders of nature.
A pair of young swans lives on our lake. Most people envision these birds as majestic and docile, gracefully skimming across the top of still waters. Not during this season! When nesting season begins, the male becomes quite aggressive. He will incessantly chase interlopers from his territory.
This morning, a pair of Canada geese had intruded into his domain. He fluffed his feathers, making himself appear much larger than he was. In this commanding costume, he chased the geese for well over an hour undeterred by the torrential rain. The more agile and adept geese were able to avoid the swan’s aggressiveness by staying at least one step (or wing flap) ahead of him.
I was distracted from the swan dance by a rustling in a tree. A morning dove had built a nest on one of the limbs. She peered down at me, wondering what the intentions were of this intruder.
A male dove landed near the nest, and I assumed he was her mate. I was expecting him to come after me, when another male nose-dived toward the first male, chasing him off. The second one was actually the mate, and he was going through the same ritual as the swan in his attempts at protecting his dominion from trespassers.
A few moments later, there was a commotion in the pachysandra ground cover next to me. I could see two separate movements in the leaves; both were heading in the same direction, one right behind the other. I followed the cascade of moving leaves as the disturbance on the ground coursed to an opening from which ran two red squirrels, one chasing after the other. They, too, were engaged in the same territorial protectionism.
With egos ablaze, all of these creatures were wasting way too much of their precious energy fluffing their feathers, hoarding what they perceived to exclusively belong to them.
Whenever I experience a sequence of seemingly unrelated events such as these, I know that there’s a deeper meaning for me to contemplate. As the rainstorm gradually abated, its white noise gave way to silence as a beautiful rainbow gently arced across the sky. I noticed a pair of very young chipmunks sitting on a stoop, playing with one another. There was a single acorn they were pushing back and forth between each other. Seemingly oblivious to the aggressive territoriality being demonstrated by their neighboring animals and birds, neither chipmunk was trying to hoard the acorn as his own. Instead, the two of them were sharing this precious treasure.
In the setting of the current global viral invasion by COVID-19, the lesson to be learned by us all is that we are not separate. On the contrary, we all inextricably connected.
With the world-wide-web, cell phones, and social media, we can instantaneously connect with one another. Cable news can take us halfway around the globe to experience in real-time what our brothers and sisters are enduring. I can literally talk to almost anyone in the world right now using my cell phone or Skype. The technology we need to help us “connect” is already in place. But the real connection to one another requires something much simpler than all of this complicated technology.
In many ways, we’re actually more connected today than we were back in the earliest days of the human race when there were small communities separated by wide stretches of landscape.
As a rule, in order to protect ourselves, we ignore the immeasurable suffering occurring elsewhere in this world. For a moment, contemplate the number of tears shed every day by children starving in Darfur. Each of those children is our child. In Syria, the father cradling his infant child’s limp body after being poisoned by a chemical agent ... that father is me! The young girl kidnapped in Nigeria and sold into prostitution by Muslim extremists is your daughter.
The current coronavirus pandemic continues to silently spread its invisible and deadly tentacles to virtually every part of our globe. From the incredible suffering collectively being endured by millions of us who inhabit this planet, we humans have been forced to acknowledge our vulnerability, our fragility, and in a twisted way, our connectivity to one another.
By embracing this collective responsibility to protect, nurture, and care for our global family, a beautiful reality just might unfold on this planet. I could learn to love the hoodied inner-city black kid as much as I love my own son.
It is imperative that we master a collective consciousness such as this. In doing so, the humanity within each of us will have no choice but to re-awaken.
Rather than competing with one another for personal protective equipment or bidding against our fellow human beings for testing reagent, swabs, and ventilators, we should instead follow the lead of the young chipmunks who have learned the lesson most of us have yet to embrace: share the treasure.
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” — Albert Pike