COVID-19 has opened Pandora’s box. But the global chaos spurred by this virus has also crystallized how interconnected humanity is. Never before in our lifetime have our everyday actions impacted others in such a far-reaching and overwhelming way. (Remember when coughing was just a banal reflex?)
Although this new reality can feel paralyzing, we can ground ourselves in knowing that acting intentionally will have a positive effect that reverberates more than usual. To overcome this pandemic and its aftermath, we must act with intention and as a whole.
At HandsOn Suburban Chicago, we connect people with purpose. The path for finding one’s purpose traditionally consisted of looking introspectively, unearthing one’s passions, and then building outward a framework for meaningful action. With the world rapidly changing and time fleeting for those most affected by the pandemic, we no longer have the privilege of thinking about ourselves first. In other words, it has never been more apparent that purpose actually originates from selflessness.
Conceiving of selflessness as a loss of freedom or identity fails to account for the interdependent nature of being human and of our globalized, hyperconnected world. Selflessness instead clarifies and prioritizes that which is essential. Deliberately demonstrating how one is essential to others characterizes the selfless act.
Abiding by one’s whims is a selfish and limited view of freedom. No person is an island—even in times of self-quarantine. True liberation is choosing to do that which is necessary but inconvenient and perhaps even uncomfortable. And this authentic expression of freedom is indispensable.
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- Choosing to #BeEssential: An Interview with a Self-Directed Volunteer and Donor - April 21, 2020
- #BeEssential: 3 Ways You Can Address the Societal Ills Exposed by the Coronavirus - April 14, 2020
- Choosing to #BeEssential: An Interview with a Volunteer Tackling Hunger During the COVID-19 Pandemic - April 7, 2020