For decades, there have been movies depicting invasion of Earth by hostile Martians. The story lines have climaxed in worldwide coming together for human survival. Today the invading force is a virus instead. It is sad to contemplate that it takes a serious external threat to bring people together.

Together? Really? Doesn’t sheltering in place appear to be keeping people apart so they will not infect each other? Willingness to keep apart, even when that is inconvenient, actually does express regard for the welfare of others. That is a togetherness.

This article follows a fairly thorough discussion of human attitudes. I have been persuading readers that we inhabit worlds of our own creation. Whether the pandemic draws us together or pushes us apart depends on the interactions between those individual worlds. My heart longs for us to keep physical social distance as required but to cooperate in response to the mandated changes. In this instance that means inventing new social and economic relationships. This extends far beyond medical treatments as we contemplate rebuilding the disrupted economy. Let us recover and thrive as a united society.

In the past people have died from various causes while others nearby could not help them. Persons would only hope individually to survive the plague. Maybe by now we have learned enough to respond differently. Instead of deep-sixing businesses that are “unprofitable” in the new normal, we can redefine the purpose of our daily work around fresh ways to meet needs instead of the traditional ways to make profit.

I call on us to think brand-new thoughts. As long as we are changing the way we produce and consume, let’s also change away from past competition by inventing new collaboration. We need to keep a foundation, but let’s not rebuild the house with all the old flaws. We can do better than selfish individual survival.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash