By Wayne Saalman
EXTREME CHALLENGES REQUIRE EXTREME MINDFULNESS. Certainly in the midst of a pandemic there is no other choice. After all, this viral horror presents us with a life and death challenge, one that has upended virtually everything in our lives. We each must, therefore, look after our own welfare — and the welfare of our loved ones — with the tenacity and mindfulness of those at war living in a country occupied by a brutal, merciless enemy.
This sounds grim, but fortunately most of us in the world do not have soldiers in the street with guns and glaring eyes. We have an invisible enemy that is stealthy and microscopically small. We can, therefore, take heart and take control of the situation by staying ever vigilant and hyper-mindful.
We all know what mindfulness is by now, but most of us don’t take it seriously enough. The word has a nice ring to it and we like to think that we are on top of our game and super aware of all that we are involved in, but we aren’t. Not nearly enough.
For millions and millions of us the coronavirus pandemic is the worst thing we have ever had to face. While many have indeed had to fight the dark forces of tyranny and evil, most of us have had a relatively soft go of it. We have been able to indulge our passions, our pursuits, our pleasantries like privileged children.
We still can.
Only we have to go about the life-changing inconveniences which the coronavirus has imposed upon us by remaining ever hyper-mindful, especially as regards hygiene and health. Keeping our immune systems strong requires a dietary effort, but not one that requires eating foods that are terrible or tasteless. In fact, if one gets into the habit of eating whole or unprocessed foods, one soon learns how tasty and nourishing these foods are. They are far better than many people imagine. A hyper-mindful diet can be delightful if it is pursued with a positive attitude and it can lead to greater physical strength, a better physique and a powerful constitution, which means that we will feel happier in every way, including mentally and emotionally.
This pandemic may mean that we cannot live carefree lives for a long time, but we can live in a way that is essentially the opposite of living carelessly and licentiously, and thus putting ourselves at risk against a deadly invisible enemy.
It is a great tragedy, of course, that so many of our loved ones were unaware of this deadly invisible enemy until it was too late for them. Our hearts break to know of the suffering these loved ones were forced to endure and how unspeakably terrible the end was for them. To honor their memories, we must use our love to turn the tide on this pandemic. We must be vigilant and careful in a way that they would appreciate; in a way that their love for us is honored in return. Of course they would want us to stay safe and healthy. The very last thing they would want is for us to charge out recklessly into the public arena as if we are invincible, for we are not, not against such a microscopically stealthy nemesis.
By cultivating hyper-mindfulness and staying safe and healthy, we can once more achieve happy lives and be the survivors we are.
The old cliché about a fool and his money being soon parted is as nothing compared to the reality of how a reckless, careless fool will either tragically cause more loved ones to depart this planet or be the person oneself who tragically departs by his or her own thoughtless actions.