This challenging year is coming to an end. A year in which suffering spread across the planet like a bushfire. The pandemic, which, like a strong storm, stirred up the ocean of life and raised huge waves, affects everyone with the same force, albeit with differently strong consequences. Yet, as everyone experiences storm surges simultaneously, there is a growing awareness of global suffering, why profound challenges that many people around the world face in their daily lives are now becoming more apparent. Lockdown, which seems so unberable, even though it lasts only a few days or weeks, can now give us a chance to grow compassion for all those who have been imprisoned for months or years; restrictions that are currently arousing great resistance and anger may now help to better understand the pressurepeople in some countries face on a daily basis; the fear of economic ruin can now develop an understanding of the existential struggle that many people wage from year to year or even from generation to generation.
If we allow our attention to be focused on the suffering of others, we will see that, although exhausting, the situation we live in this year is not nearly as difficult compared to the life that some people usually live - life full of fear, hunger and hopelessness. A changed perspective can allow us to feel the suffering that others feel. Through newborn compassion, we can understand that their suffering will increase or decrease depending on the path we choose when entering post- pandemic era - a path built on compassion, new insights and wisdom, or a path based on selfishness and caring only about to our own short-lived satisfaction and success.
Since our personal and collective structures are build up over decades or hundreds of years, they become part of us and the culture in which we live. Deeply rooted and intertwined with everything around us, they become like overgrown roots that are difficult to pull out. Because of that, even when we decide to change or abandon old mental and social structures, we will encounter resistance that can discourage us so much that returning to a previous, familiar state seems like the only real option. This pattern of clinging to old and outdated strategies is particularly evident in this year when new lifestyle approaches that the crisis requires, appear as a threat to personal freedom as well as to social and economic functionality. As a result, we continue to face people and institutions who fall into the trap of their own and collective egos.
Conditioning prevents people from noticing the immediate and long-term consequences of their actions. This was evident throughout the year, either through non-compliance with restrictions and quarantine, through ineffective implementation of pandemic measures or through a drastic shortening of the time required to produce a safe vaccine that certainly has no long-term consequences for human health. So, if our present world fails, it is not because of the virus, but because of the level of collective consciousness that does not allow us to see that our current cultural models alienate us from nature and ourselves and thus bring humanity into growing crises.
Yet, this darkness that arises from conditioned mind is dispelled by the light of those people who have managed to overgrow their own fear and are able to display a strong and inspiring compassion and generosity. People who offer their hearts, time, warmth, comfort and money to everyone who suffers during this heartbreaking time. These bearers of light are like the sun's rays that break through the dense clouds, bringing moments of joy and laughter, love and kindness even when everything is falling apart.
Whether we focused on light or darkness this year, all we experienced was just a dance of transience that allows us to mature as beings. Especially this year, our maturation has gained in intensity, so we can now ask ourselves: How far have we matured? Enough to learn the lesson given to us? Unfortunately, the answer is: Not yet. Although some people will come out of this crisis with a transformed perception, humanity still has a long way to go. How long this journey will take depends on the choices each of us make: will we choose a path that will lead to more selfishness or a path that will lead to more selflessness and compassion?
So, before this year ends, make a conscious decision and wisely choose the path you will take next year. Do not forget, however, that your choice will also determine the path of all of humanity and can open up the possibility of reaching the next level in evolution.