Sometimes I run from my own humanity. I think I’m escaping the vulnerability of succumbing to the fragility of my existence. In many ways there’s a sense of comfortable ease in hiding behind a self-constructed superhuman façade. Although superheroism presents a unique set of stresses, it’s an easier concept to accept as opposed to welcoming the temperamental and brittle nature of humanity.
I’ve always tried to outrun my humanity. As a child I’d lie to my mother about my health, I’d tell her I felt “great,” when I knew I was sick. While on the high school track team I’d run through torn ligaments and pain, finding the wins more worthwhile if I fought to earn them. To this day I take on projects and tasks, setting unreasonable expectations for completion, continuously upping the ante, for the adrenalin rush of defying the impossible in a superhuman way.
However, outrunning humanity has become increasingly difficult with the emergence of the world wide pandemic. Our ability to ignore our own fragility and vulnerabilities have been unmasked by an abrupt confrontation with the truth that we are frangible. Many of us have stepped into servant leadership roles, with the notion that “we’re in this together.” Realizing that each of us is a walking biohazard, suddenly the thick lines of separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’ have thinned. We’ve become aware that ‘their’ problems, disparities, and injustices impact the collective.
Parents have forged a bond rooted in appreciation for this precious time with little ones, coupled with solving for supporting the remote learning process, along with keeping their young minds engaged and challenged. In Zoomtopia, there’s no better levity than seeing a cute little face pop into the screen, this has humanized and normalized parenthood in the workplace. In these moments we’re all bystanders of the unbridled humanity parenting brings. Watching parents melt at the sight of their child, or finding OKness in pausing the meeting to make a little one lunch, has changed the perception that being a parent is somehow unprofessional.
Faced with the devastating loss of life all around us, the actuality of waking up every morning is something we’ve become most grateful for. We’ve become creative, and unapologetic in how we show up for one another in celebrating life. Birthday’s, graduations, wedding receptions, etc are community building parade-worthy moments. Finally we’ve given ourselves permission to throw a well deserved parade, and we hang tightly to these moments recognizing that time with family, friends, and loved ones is to be cherished.
In the most divisive era in modern history, an entire generation will enter the world more united than ever. 2020 graduates are ready to lead with an altruistic spirit of courage that we’ve never experienced. This couldn’t be a more poetic welcome to the complex duplicity of the world we’ve created for them. After having survived the American way of school massacres and gun violence, only to have graduation curtailed by the mass spread of disease affirms the many ways we’ve failed our youth. They know we’ve failed them, yet remarkably they forgive us because they are the generation best equipped to fix this mess.
Capitalism is the foundation of America, our greatest pride is our economy. Within one week of stay at home orders, our economy was devastated. We’ve now been reminded that our greatest strength is not the economy, and our national identity is built on foundational egg shells that can be shattered with one small sneeze. Those of us who are committed to rerooting based on values that amplify the ideals of humanity will succeed in this next phase of our existence. Those who choose to reroot using the same rotted roots will manifest the same rotted results. Our greatest gift in this moment is the opportunity to reseed, reroot, and reimagine our values and our purpose.
Unsurprisingly the underbelly of humanity has been magnified. Greed, selfishness, ignorance, and evergreen racism is the shadow identity we all want to outrun, but can’t escape. Perhaps this is our moment to loudly reject this shadow in our existence. Could it be that the universe has called us to reset so that we can create a way of living that supports all of humanity? Could it be that the universe is challenging us to build equitable economic systems that are supportive of collective thriving? What makes us most vulnerable is our shadow, our challenge is to be the light.
Our ability to embrace and normalize our own humanity, carrying the raw and beautiful elements of our mortality into the world, will be the measure of our success and ability to create abundance in our re-imagination of normal. Removing self aggrandizing, impetuous, inequitable veils that harm the elements of mortality will make life beautiful in this next phase. To successfully rise to the demands of this challenge we must focus on embracing and cherishing what makes us most vulnerable. I am committed to abundant and whole living, because I’m reminded by the hour that life is precious and fleeting. This realization has challenged us to make brave-hearted choices about who we are, what we stand for, and how we care for one another and our environment. Humanity is something that can’t be evaded. At the point we try to escape humanity, the universe will remind us of the fragility of our existence. Let’s fall in love with the beauty of the vulnerability of humanity.