Making a Virtue Out of a Possible Necessity

by | Mar 23, 2020

The coronavirus has caught our society flat footed. Former UCOT president, Paul Smith, recently posted on Facebook that his doctor tried to get a patient tested for the virus, and it was impossible to get this accomplished.

            The coronavirus has had an impact on me but not in terms of health. It has had an impact on me in terms of economic realities. I am trying to buy and sell houses. The pandemic has brought some “good” news in terms of buying a house (i.e., lower rates), but it has also created some big challenges in terms of real estate (i.e.,related to the closing and selling my house in Tulsa).

            I would suggest that we look at the coronavirus as something that has generated both opportunities as well as challenges. It can provide us with an opportunity to relook at some of our basic assumptions and ways of doing things. Let me give an example:

            I have noticed that some folks, many of them close to my “baby boomer” age, still have some serious computer-related fears. Last year at Unity Center of Tulsa we started to experiment with online classes. We use a wonderful platform (Zoom) to teach classes and workshops. It is very easy to use, and you can either join the class via your computer, or you can dial into the class by telephone (either cell phone or landline).

            However, I have had several discussions with people who very much like the subject matter of the classes, and the time and day of the week when the class is given works for them too. Yet computer-related fears are stopping them from joining the sessions. The beauty of these online classes is that you can take them in the comfort of your home. You don’t have to drive to them in the dark and/or bad weather. The rise of the coronavirus provides all of us with a chance to reexamine any reluctance we might have to online classes and workshops.

            Also, UCOT has recently started to live stream our Sunday 11 am services. You can sit in your living room, den, kitchen, etc. and watch a UCOT’s Sunday service as it happens. The Sunday service is also archived and up on UCOT’s website. You can then either play or download the entire Sunday service whenever you want.

            So much education, workshops, etc. is now being done online. If you do have any computer-related fears, I suggest that you use this time to step out of your comfort zone and join us online.

            A number of years ago, I was reading a book about the world of our early human ancestors. One theory is that there was a time when almost all of Africa was covered with trees. Our early ancestors lived in trees. Then the theory contends that there was a very harsh period where Africa lost a great deal of its forests, I remember being very sad looking at the maps of Africa with, and without, its lush forests.

            But this theory then contends that this tragedy forced our early ancestors down from the trees, and it made them walk upright on the ground. Without the diminution of Africa’s forests, we might still be up in trees and swinging from vine to vine. If this theory is correct, then this experience was truly an example of learning from, and advancing forward, despite—and because of—a very serious challenge.

            May this current crises provide us with time to reexamine our old assumptions, and may we have the courage to change where needed given the new “normal.” May we have the faith, wisdom, and zeal to find the blessings in seemingly dark times.