Irma has reached South Carolina and we lost power an hour ago. (I’m composing on my cell phone…by candle light.) My first thought when the power went out was that it would be back on soon because we live so close to the source… the dam. But then I remembered the prediction of wide-spread power outages. Such a prediction is a good one because, electrical grid-wise, we are all connected. That’s how and why brown-outs and black-outs occur…one city knocking down another.
Some people feel that images of disasters and heart-breaking stories from around the globe are too much to handle (“I can’t do anything about it.”) However, in reaction to the news reports concerning the people in Texas and Florida, and even in Bangladesh, some internet friends and I have been writing about how we feel compelled to expand our compassion and concern out beyond our usual circle of friends and family. One dear friend in Ireland said that it has changed the way she prays for people. I’m inclined to agree with her because I believe in prayer. I also believe that this is a new era…a time for increased global awareness, accompanied by an increased capacity for global compassion.
In the same way that technology has enabled power companies to interconnect and support and back up each other, we are getting better at doing the same spiritually. On a very small scale, when I struggle emotionally, my close friends step up and fill in with comfort and encouragement until my ‘transformers’ are running again. Healthy extended families and support groups like AA have been working like this for generations but now our awareness of suffering and need is global. How can our compassion cover it all?
Inventors of technology will attest to the truth that necessity is the mother of invention. Our increased awareness of the needs and struggles of others has necessitated a greater need for deeper and larger compassion and, spiritually, I believe we are being granted that greater capacity… almost as if we are able now to turn the light switch on in a previously secret room. Whether mankind has always had the capacity to hold the whole world in its heart…but just didn’t use it much…or whether we have evolved to be able to hold the globe in compassion, I believe we are discovering that it can be done.
Writers like Krista Tippett, Jim Marion, and Cynthia Bourgeault address how we as a civilization are evolving in consciousness. Capabilities like nondual thinking, holding opposing views in a safe mediative space, and praying for the awakened consciousness of others are taking ‘helping others’ to a new level.
One of my friends cautioned me not long ago that I cannot heal the whole world…and she is correct… but I think we are getting closer to loving the whole world in compassion, all the time.