The world is eagerly trying to get back to its feet. It is clear that people need to secure their livelihoods, put food on their tables, and get back to business, but I wonder, have we learned the lessons the coronavirus crisis tried to teach us? What if the pandemic has yet to fulfill its goal of spurring us toward the creation of a more balanced society?

Although gradually, some stores and services are reopening in the US and around the world. An apparent normalcy is being restored and everyone seems to be content with our renewed desire to return to our usual egoistic approach toward self-benefit and exploitation of the ecosystem that brought us to this peril to begin with. Or maybe not? It will be interesting to see if we emerge from this forced pause any wiser, more conscious of the system in which we live and willing to do something to restore the lost balance in our relations toward others and our surrounding environment.

If we return to the business-as-usual mode without any commitment for a substantial change in our behavior, no one will be able to guarantee that a bigger disaster will not hit us. It is imperative that we internalize the fact that we live in an integral environment. All of nature is one closed system—alive, breathing, but wounded because of our human ego—the sole factor which disrupts the overall functioning of the integral system of nature, bringing forth such plagues as the coronavirus.

I wonder, where are the international organizations such as the UN and outspoken environmental champions raising their voices and demanding a more conscious humanity before the world eases restrictions of movement and reopens the economy? We must hold ourselves accountable for our abuse of the world’s resources and our reckless attitude toward each other. But most importantly, we must realize that returning to the pre-COVID-19 world unchanged would be a recipe for disaster.

Back to Basics, Not Back to Crisis

We cannot realistically expect to return to our ongoing exploitation of the planet which pollutes, depletes, and will eventually bring about the total destruction to the ecosystem. Likewise, we cannot revert to the same old dysfunctional patterns of society and harmful human relations among couples, families, children, and coworkers. The old paradigm of greed, perversion, corruption, and lack of empathy, cannot define our reality any longer.

Clearly, no one wants to live in lockdown forever, but I hope that we have taken full advantage of the global halt to realize that life as it was had become unsustainable and to gain awareness of the conclusions we must draw about which endeavors are truly indispensable for society and which are superfluous.

Nature demonstrates the correct way. It functions integrally, as a unified whole, where all its parts take only what is essential in order to maintain the correct performance of the entire system.

The global epidemic froze the world, not to put an end to our development, but to lead us in the right direction and to broaden our view. A more friendly and harmonious attitude toward others and toward nature will shift our previous reality of total loss and transform it into total gain, taking us to a balanced world. What would be the point of ever looking back, when we can decide to build a promising future together?