The people who create our new society must themselves be people of color, women, immigrants, and people in poverty and on the margins of society. Otherwise the rot will continue and the new structure also will be swept away.
We are called to move from nationalism to a recognition of the humanity of all people regardless of geography or race or culture. Surely this is the vision that most if not all the major religions call us. So long as we are ensnared in a small, tight, world of limited resources, we will limit our potential for development both as individuals and as a world community.
COVID-19 has dramatically shown us how interrelated we are. While maintaining social distancing, we came to truly recognize our need for each other. Not only are the first line medical providers heroes, but so are the trash collectors and the people who work in grocery stores.
Now we must bring that insight into our work. When national, state, and local budgets are developed, we need to distribute our resources equitably to ensure that those who most require our help have the resources they need. Too easily an “America First” policy devolves into a “me first” mindset.
This shift in perspective also will help us to better love and preserve the earth. The earth and its richness are not something to plunder but something to value and to care for. We will better recognize the environment as an essential part of our very being. When we harm the earth, we harm ourselves.
In terms of our relationship with other nations, we will not seek simply to get the better deal but strive for agreements that enrich each nation. Too often, the desire for short-term gain at another nation’s expense results in long-term loss. At first, we may seem to win but too often this approach results in civil unrest, armed conflicts, and war.
The change in perspective from the individual to the community also would change our trade agreements. Aside from looking at the cheapest price, we would try to look more deeply into the manufacture and transportation of goods. Is slave labor involved? Under what working conditions were the goods manufactured. What safeguards can we implement as a nation to help improve the working conditions of other nations?