• Mel Coppola

A Different Kind of Mountain

As I wrote in my previous blog, Moving Mountains

became my theme this year. This was due in part because it was the theme for The Eden Alternative International Conference; in part because I found a wall hanging where someone had finger-painted, “I will move mountains”; and in part because my daughters gave me a necklace at Christmas that said, “Move Mountains”.

Well earlier this month, a new mountain seemed to have appeared. At first glance, it seemed this mountain was the pandemic, this new strain of Coronavirus known as Covid-19. But the more I look at this mountain, I think it is truly a volcano.

Those of you who know me know that for the most part, I avoid watching and reading the news. Between my daughter and my husband, I get updated on what I need to know. So not surprisingly, my first real awareness of the virus hitting the US was on March 10. (I did know about the virus, but only in a vague way.) The only reason I know the date was because I was heading out the next day on a road trip to visit a friend and was trying to find hand wipes to use at the gas station and public rest rooms. No luck, as wipes and hand sanitizers were already long gone.

But we had a wonderful day—sitting on the beach in Naples, Florida—catching up on each other’s lives, families, mutual friends, etc. I stayed the night at her place and over coffee the next morning, we learned all that had transpired the day and night before. Seemingly the world had changed in 24 hours. Little did either of us realize that it was just the beginning of the changes that would continue to be announced.

Moving the mountain of this virus would, of course, be extremely difficult and it would take many, many of us collaborating and working together to actually move it. But it would be doable. What I am seeing and experiencing, however, is an erupting volcano.

Spewing from this volcano is a lot of blame—blame directed toward our national government for not responding quickly enough; toward the prior administration and the CDC; toward the democrats for this “hoax”; toward local governments for enforcing/not enforcing bans; toward the people who

, out of fear, are hoarding food and supplies; toward spring breakers on the beaches in Florida; toward the Chinese; toward the media; the list and finger pointing goes on and on. What all this shame and blame does is take our attention away from what is most important—people around the world are getting sick and dying. It is no one’s fault. Repeat. IT IS NO ONE’S FAULT!!

Also spilling wildly from this volcano are things like greed, alienation, fear mongering, selfishness, alarmism, indifference, offensive insults hurled all around, and a proliferation of ageism and classism. Underly

ing it all, of course, is fear. And whether we look at our spiritual teachings, basic psychology or history, we know that fear can lead to hatred.

Stopping this volcano from spewing is the responsibility of every one of us! We must reach out with empathy and compassion and find the humanity that unites us all. We need to hold each other up, not tear others down. Instead of blaming, use that energy to see who might need a phone call, a skype or some facetime. Perform random acts of kindness. Acknowledge something you are grateful for each day. Find a way to let one person a day know that they matter!

We’ve all endured enough of the heavy grey ash from this volcano. It is time for kindness and love to be what spills forth so we can get to the work of moving this mountain.

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