As individuals, we are rather helpless creatures. But as members of society, we can be incredibly wealthy and powerful. Yet our society cannot end at some arbitrary border where once we cross it, anything goes.
We need to free ourselves of the belief that we are competing for limited resources. The human species has survived by sharing and cooperation. While hoarding may have limited benefits for a brief time for an individual, society has a whole cannot survive that way and the world community certainly cannot.
With COVID-19, we have been forced to pause for a moment. If we are open to it, this could be a moment of grace. In many ways, humanity is racing toward a cliff of extinction and dragging the rest of the world with it. Scientists estimate that between 200 and 2,000 species become extinct each year. We are called to be stewards of the earth. But we cannot be good stewards if our only thought is enrichment either as individuals or as a nation.
In the United States, the wealth gap increases each year. The top 10 percent average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Worldwide, the wealth disparity is equally alarming. Individuals owning over $100,000 in assets make up less than 11 percent of the global population but own 82.8 percent of global wealth.
So while we are standing around the pool, take a look. How dirty has the water become? How much water is left? Look at the people around you and around the border rivers and across oceans. Are they simply our competitors? Or are they very much like we are? How do we want to relate to them?
Soon we will all dive back into the water. Will we resume our frantic race with each other?
We are in a moment of grace. Now is the time to be open to the transforming power of the Spirit.