This was my Pause For Thought on Vanessa Feltz, BBC Radio 2 - May 8, 2020. The theme was Trying To Love Sustainably and it went out in the middle of Coronavirus lock down...)
I don’t want to go back to the way it was before.
I have heard that phrase so many times in these weeks of lock down. What do people mean? Well, I think that people mean many different things. I think that actually the commutative answer is that so much of the stuff we were doing before lock down needs critiqued, reassessed and much of it jettisoned.
A solicitor friend has said that the amount of work their office took on was too much - unsustainable.
A friend in business was saying that the pressure coming from clients was getting more and more pressurised - unsustainable.
Other friends saying that time with their children has been so precious that they don’t want to lose their connection afterwards - it was unsustainable.
I guess that in fact we are all learning that should a virus come out of nowhere and knock us off our feet many of the things that we took for granted are actually in their current form unsustainable.
There is an ancient wisdom saying that might speak into such unsustainability. In the book of Proverbs in the Bible we read
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonour the name of my God.
Personally I agree with the many voices who say to me “I don’t want to go back to the way it was before”. Personally, I think that that life we lived until March 2020 was not sustainable.
But it is not enough for me to say that I don’t want to go back. I need to find the key to a new way forward. And I am committing myself to that ancient wisdom… “neither poverty nor riches”… Maybe the new word is ENOUGH, not too much or too little for anyone BUT enough for everyone. I believe that that can be sustainable and might change the future.