Pandemic, Lockdown, Isolation, Social distancing, Loneliness, Hopelessness, Fear and Anxiety
It's Hard to Picture a Better and a more Hopeful Future After the Pandemic.
But, For Sure, Together We'll Help Shape It
We can all imagine the world we want to build; now's the time to start its construction. Photo: Via the BBC
'Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope Francis and Austen Ivereigh (Simon & Schuster, 2020) explains why we must—and how we can—make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people now. In the COVID crisis, the Pope saw the cruelty and inequity of our society exposed more vividly than ever before. He also saw, in the resilience, generosity, and creativity of so many people, the means to rescue our society, our economy, and our planet. In direct, powerful prose, Pope Francis urges us not to let the pain be in vain. The book offers an inspiring and actionable blueprint for building a better world for all humanity by putting the poor and the planet at the heart of new thinking. For this plan, the Pope draws not only on sacred sources, but on the latest findings from renowned scientists, economists, activists, and other thinkers.'- Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
“Let Us Dream is written in the spirit of that insight and throws down a spiritual gauntlet to the reader. The distillation of summer discussions with the English Catholic commentator and author Austen Ivereigh, the book is recognisably a product of that strange, surreal first phase of the coronavirus pandemic. As patients fought for breath in overwhelmed intensive care wards, our streets fell silent and lockdown brought the world to a shuddering halt. Calamities such as this, says Francis, can be a “threshold” experience, dividing one era from another. “This is a moment to dream big,” he writes, “to rethink our priorities – what we value, what we want, what we seek – and commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.
The Covid crisis, argues the pope, has given the lie to a “myth of self-sufficiency” that sanctions rampant inequalities and frays the ties that bind societies together. Pitilessly, the virus has demonstrated our mutual dependency and common vulnerability. We have collectively relied on the state as never before. The doorstep applause for the nurses and doctors risking their lives, and the key workers who kept essential services going, was a collective lightbulb moment: “They are the saints next door, who have awoken something important in our hearts … the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves: not preserving ourselves, but losing ourselves in service. What a sign of contradiction to the individualism and self-obsession and lack of solidarity that so dominate our wealthier societies!”...Julian Coman, Let Us Dream by Pope Francis review – the holy father of fraternity
‘Francis writes that Covid has taught us “no one is saved alone”. That knowledge demands a new politics of inclusion, he believes. It equips us to avoid both excessive individualism and the aggressive populism that thrives on identifying enemies at home and abroad. “Fraternity,” the pope insists, “is the new frontier”, capable of knitting together the often competing demands of liberty and equality.’
Thus, the pertinent question is: ‘If we see this eruption of what Francis calls “fraternity” for what it is – for what it reveals about the human condition – might it become the launchpad for a new politics of the common good?’
Please see below for some possible and potential answer/s to the above question:
We are not mean people. We have hearts and minds, we care for each other still, we have our dreams, and in dreams, as the poet Delmore Schwartz once said, “In dreams begin responsibilities”.
"The Value of Values to Build a World for the Common Good"