Week 07 (May 3-May 9)

By Lynne Lieux, RSCJ

One of the greatest principles of modern physics discovered in the 20th century is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which when simply stated indicates that it is impossible to know with certainty, at a given moment in time, the position and momentum of a subatomic particle. 

For years, I have tried to understand why it is that I so readily accept that uncertainty exists on the subatomic level, but struggle to accept it on the macroscopic level, daily life. COVID-19 has made me all the more aware of this paradox in my life. It appears that when we finally emerge from our confinement, there will be even more uncertainty regarding health, the economy, our country and the world. In times of uncertainty, I believe, even if I struggle to believe, that hope still remains.

I find this liminal space to be a time of hope … because I hope that when we return to some normalcy:

  • We have a greater sense of communion, that we do not forget that “we are all in this together,” and that these words apply to every aspect of our lives, from my home to the planet. How will I build community and work against those things which destroy community, life, our planet?
  • We have a greater respect for life, that we do not forget that this virus has impacted some more than others. How will we seek to remove these inequities in our cities, country and world?
  • We have learned the value of austerity, that we do not have to have everything, that living a simpler life is not only possible, but valuable not only to me, but to all of humanity.
  • We realize that there has been much loss of life and livelihood due to this pandemic. How will we help each other move forward from grief? How will we share our resources with others so that no one is left behind?
  • We have learned the value of leadership, that leadership is about the common good and service as it has been modeled in first responders all over the world. How will we seek the common good locally, nationally and globally?
  • We realize that life as we knew it before COVID-19 will never be again and, despite sadness and loss, we rejoice because we know that an opportunity has been given to us. We can be artisans of change.

Yes, when we emerge from this pandemic, there will still be uncertainty at the macroscopic level because of this microscopic virus. Uncertainty makes me take a deeper look at my life, to realize that most of what I hold onto or try to control is insignificant, and to ask myself, “what really matters today?” That is how I desire to live post-COVID-19.