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Dear Humanity: (Reply from COVID)

Dear Humanity:

Thank you for reaching out. It’s nice to hear from you!

I was starting to give up on the idea of having this conversation. I’ve gone to great lengths to try to get your attention. You’re right that the more you try to suppress me, the more recalcitrant and insidious I become. I don’t mean any disrespect, but you should know this — I, like other symptoms of the world, cannot simply be wiped away. As your experience has informed you, symptoms come with a purpose: they show you where you are off-track, or out of alignment with your destiny. COVID is no different.

You ask, specifically, what wisdom I am trying to impart. As a wise teacher does, I am not going to simply hand you the answers — no, given your tendency to intellectualize, I’d rather you reflect on this, feel it in your flesh and bones, so that you can take wise action.

Here’s a few pointers to get you started:

  • How effective have your control efforts been, on a social, political, and epidemiological level? Has there been any backlash or unintended consequences?
  • What shadows have I uncovered within you?
  • How have I exposed the stories you tell yourself about the world? Hint: think about the stories of science and technology, work-life balance, and most importantly, the story of “us” versus “them” (i.e., your divided self).

I welcome your response.





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Matthew S. Goodman, Ph.D.

Matthew S. Goodman, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at USC. Host of The Middle Way podcast. Writing on interconnectedness and compassion.