What you do has a greater impact than what you say —Stephen Covey
With each turn of the year, large letters with dates of the New Year are positioned in the baroque garden of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. Among other things, they are a very nice photo point for the own personal New Year photo.
For the so eagerly awaited turn of the year 2020/2021 the initiators of this kind gesture, 2020, have prepared a surprise.
The morning of December 31, 2020, I spontaneously ran to the palace to get a 2021 photo in time – but the so important “1” was missing. At first, I thought that it would probably be put up at midnight or at the latest on January 1, 2021 – but then I discovered the sign “Be the 1!”, which was depicted instead of the “1” at the bottom of the platform. “Great idea”, I thought and immediately asked two women who were passing by, if they could take a picture of me as “I am the one.” Once I arrived at home, I knew that with my New Year’s photo I also had a suitable title for my January blogpost.
I used “Be The One” to reflect on what that meant to me personally at the end of such a world-changing year – I remembered the first lockdown, where despite all challenges around the world, there were moments where we all realized that we are connected, more than we think and that we can only together overcome this crisis. Everyone has been given their own individual tasks during this pandemic. Sometimes I saw a picture in front of me, like the entire planet was held up a mirror. Yes, now this transformation, which numerous people have been reporting for decades, has suddenly become visible and tangible for ALL. The question is: where are we transforming to as humanity and individuals?
I notice that many people, especially in the wealthy states, do not want to take the chance to actually move into a higher consciousness because it involves effort to question one’s own ways of living, to actually leave one’s comfort zone or to live in solidarity.
It is much easier to criticize others and to want to know it better or to simply follow its own EGO. Taking responsibility, oneself, thinking and acting more in the big picture are the skills that will hopefully be trained and demanded much more in future.
I have planned to be more “the person – the one” who provides answers to the unanswered questions of this moving time through deeds and actions. It is also my goal to simply live and implement the many, beautiful-sounding life wisdoms and sayings that we all read again and again and to set the way of simple living by ourselves. I also want to be the one who is not afraid to talk about the fact that in this transformation, without a spiritual foundation and by that, I mean without a connection with Mother Earth and God, we can only be left behind.
I would like to help developing our ways of thinking and acting in order to realize as a collective that we can only grasp and understand these new tasks with our ‘new consciousness’.
JU’S 3 QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
1. How do you experience humanity in this transformative phase? What are your experiences in dealing with people who, currently full of fear and panic about the future, no longer feel that they themselves attract negativity with this behavior?
2. What discoveries have you made about yourself during this challenging time. Which of your strengths did you particularly feel and live?
3. Are you also experiencing this transformation on a spiritual level? Do you get the feeling that the ‘Coronavirus’ is helping humanity to wake up?
🧔Iwan Zanchetta 🇮🇹🇨🇭 Iwan and I first met while boarding a flight from Vienna to Washington D.C. – we had both been selected for a ‘special security check’ and Iwan’s turn preceded mine. About ten hours later we were sitting next to each other in the ‘mobile lounge’ on the way from the gate to the Terminal. The somewhat ‘military-looking’ welcome of the airport staff made us both smile. When we met each other a third time in the transit room, we spontaneously decided to have dinner together before flying in different directions.
Iwan inspired me with his open, spontaneous and humorous nature, as well as his interests in humanity and spirituality. He is self-employed as an Optometrist, works holistically and is involved in various professional committees in Switzerland and abroad. He likes to spend his free time in nature as well as doing sports, reading and riding his motorcycle. We have been connected on LinkedIn and Facebook since we met.
Cheryl is American with some German roots – she has studied civil engineering and architectural drafting and communication at university and now loves her work as a Spiritual Healer and spends a lot of her time with her family in their beautiful home in Virginia. She also is fond of photography, travelling, cooking and family genealogy. Cheryl and I first met at a workshop in LA at the Body, Mind & Spirit Healing Center in 2013 – five years later we got the chance to share a house together for some days during my stay in Whittier/CA – from the very beginning I was very impressed by Cheryl’s loving, understanding and kind way of connecting with people. I also admire her for her entrepreneurial skills, her commitment and her sense of humor – I really enjoyed staying a couple of days with her and her family in Virginia in October 2019 – they were the best hosts.
👱🏼♂Philip Vanderspruit 🇦🇹🇩🇪🇦🇺🇳🇿🇳🇱
I first saw Philip a few days after his birth in March 2002. His mother and I have a long-lasting friendship – already as a baby and toddler I perceived Philip as very intelligent, sensitive and interested. In the past years we had hardly any contact and in the meantime, Philip has grown up to an educated, charming and cool young man. He is a graduate of the Klosterneuburg International School, is currently doing his civil service at the Vienna Ambulance and is engaged in music in his spare time. Also, he sticks to the Social Distancing rules in Corona times.
I am very grateful to be able to publish a blog post from the perspective of a young person thanks to Philip.
Many are helpless and adapt to the system, whereas some others experience a special aggressiveness and anger against our political system.
They rebel against the system. Some on the other hand, just want to be something special and attach themselves to a philosophical direction, without forming their own opinion.
People who have been sick and maybe in hospital look at everything with a certain relativity and serenity. They think that the virus should be taken seriously, and that dinner is not worth it, because of a possible risk of infection.
One should live here and now. Tomorrow it could be too late. Like in the animal world, for example, which is not afraid of the imaginary enemy. Only humans are. We imagine the enemy, in a way that often doesn’t correspond to reality.
This raises a question: Does our body allow COVID-19 to infect us at all? If yes, why? Why do we get infected and sick?
Some who did not want the virus also got and kept it.
Many take the view that is none of their business. They don’t have the virus and never will, which they show in their behavior.
I have learnt to be cautious and yet also show some composure. I try to bring a certain calmness and understanding to people. I no longer touch upon this subject actively. I talk about other topics of life. If one can purify itself and work on the weaknesses.
I enjoy spending time with myself and my loved ones to evolve as a person and to prepare for a time after COVID-19.
In the process, I made new friends and distanced myself from sometimes unnecessary relationships. Finally! It is liberating.
I try to focus on the essential things, in which I put more mindfulness and simplicity, as well as focus on the most important things in life.
Corona will make a difference. Tension is in the air; you can see it in world events. Humanity shows a very high level of dissatisfaction and puts a lot of hope in wrong material values, such as vaccination for the final solution of the problem.
They will all be bitterly disappointed.
In all those years they have been distracted by other things now they have to pay the price. The main problems of humanity were covered by a mask, but not solved. The financial greed of our system continues in the background, despite the over indebtedness of every state. We will soon become aware of this.
People will then want to spend more time with their spirituality, which until then played an absolutely secondary role for many, and seek comfort there, among other things in religions. They will be bitterly disappointed, however, because religions are so tightly connected with our sick economic system.
The borders of the countries are already closed, people live in quarantine. Basically, it looks like we have a state of war.
During this transformative phase, I have experienced humanity as an example of contrasts. It all depends on an individual’s outlook and personal filters. On one hand, someone who is controlling or lacks faith might experience ongoing fear or resentment. This can manifest in stagnation. Naturally, most people have experienced some level of fear or shock in 2020; after all we are human. The difference is, after that initial shock; does the person become stuck in a negative mindset? Like a downward spiral? Or does the person instead choose to transform the fear into a healthy awareness…perhaps exercising a rational level of caution instead? This is not intended as a judgment, as fear can easily become debilitating. This is only an attempt to point out how the seed of fear can manifest differently.
On the other hand, I have witnessed examples of people sharing great hope! They have come forward to offer support and prayer for humanity during this time. That is not to say they downplay any hardships, loss, or suffering of others. After all, this has been a heavy, challenging and somber time for mankind. Instead, they respectfully choose to frame this transformative phase with hope and action for a better future. And with faith in God’s plan.
Sometimes people are full of fear yet are unaware of this. They don’t connect this mindset with the negativity they attract. After all, it’s difficult sometimes to see this within ourselves. What can help is encouragement for introspection; as much as the person is able to see at that time. Perhaps an illustration or example of cause/effect in a person’s situation can bring awareness of their own participation. We are all doing the best we can so there is never room for judgement. After all, we all live the same lives; it’s just the details which are different.
During this time, I have discovered additional reserves of faith, love and forgiveness: Faith in God’s plan, unconditional love for humanity, and forgiveness for myself and others. Like many people have experienced, this journey has been challenging at times; but 100% worth it. For me, it has been a humbling time of family, prayer and helping others; punctuated by gratitude. This is such a gift. Another gift from God is the introspection many of us have experienced throughout Coronavirus. Taking an honest look at oneself can be a springboard to self-improvement.
I feel that ‘Coronavirus’ is an opportunity for humanity to wake up. To acknowledge that we are spirit in a physical body, not the other way around. And to remember that God is God! And to understand that we are all connected on this beautiful planet. That is not to say that there is only one way to ‘wake up.’ It can be different for everyone depending on their desire, understanding, and what is in their own hearts. What is important is to meet people wherever they are at and without judgment.
Thankfully, I feel more ‘awake’ myself. With an even more open heart to God. And with a renewed sense of purpose regarding helping humanity. Indirectly, my personal challenges during this transformative phase have only increased my faith in and surrender to God’s Divine Plan. I wish everyone the same.
I believe I have a unique insight into the minds of many people in Vienna when it comes to their health and fear of current events. Since October I’ve been working with the Vienna Ambulance as part of my civil service and had the opportunity of seeing (and taking care of) more people than I could keep track of. Most of these patients were sick, had an injury or had another need that had to be tended to and especially during times like these, and with the looming danger of “The Vid” there is a palpable fear coming from a select amount of our patients. At times we are called to an emergency expecting breathing problems or other severe complications – when we arrive, however, we find a man standing in the doorway explaining to us he’s had a moderate fever for two days and he’d rather we take him to the hospital. This is not a rare occurrence. Maybe I’m just personally shocked since ’Ive always been told not to call the ambulance unless it is absolutely necessary, but it seems to me people like this are very scared of, and sometimes ill-informed about the current pandemic. Interestingly though, on the other end of the spectrum there are confirmed CoVid patients who forget to give us this very vital piece of information until we specifically ask them about Corona. It goes to show that people, as always, swing both ways – hypochondriacs who think they contracted CoVid after they cough once, and ignorant folks who believe the disease is nothing more than a common cold. While it is true that being afraid constantly is not a way to go through life, there is still a bare minimum one can do to protect oneself and others without being weighed down by all the negativity.
In the beginning it was “Hell yeah, two weeks off school”, now it’s “Wow I really miss when we could hang out in class”. It has been longer than I’d like to admit since I had to abstain from meeting up with friends and going out properly. I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss my friends and would love to go on a night out but obviously, this is impossible at the present time. Despite real-life meetups being outlawed at the moment, modern technology has made it possible to stay in contact and talk to my best friends on a daily basis. Apart from very few occurrences I stayed true to my convictions and abided by lockdown rules and stuck to playing video games and just chilling online with my mates which sadly can’t be said about all of my contemporaries. I reckon I was able to keep my sanity for the most part throughout this time of isolation and distance thanks to these few connections I kept up despite losing many a friend in the process.
Something which has helped me tremendously in times like these and something I recommend to anyone, is finding a passion to sink a lot of time into. Personally, I found great pleasure in making and listening to music and I spent a lot of the time I suddenly had on my hands, on music at large.
These past 10 months have given everyone a lot of time in solitude or at least on their own and it has allowed me to spend many a lonely evening at home self-reflecting and thinking. I do believe this mainly rough patch in history was helpful in this sense. Over all this contemplating, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about all those people who didn’t seem to have an urge for self-reflection. If I had to answer truthfully and honestly whether humans have woken up and become more aware due to the pandemic, I’d have to say no. Anytime I use public transport (to get to work) there is at least one person wearing a mask under their nose. Anytime I leave the house (to go shopping) I see a group of teens on the street who are clearly not only going grocery shopping. It is, to be frank, quite disappointing to see others not be able to stick to the rules that are in effect at the moment. A couple friends of mine live in Australia and whenever I’m on social media and I see them at a party, I feel embarrassed for Austria because it shows me what could have been. Australia was able to contain the virus to a degree where it’s negligible – if we had done that during the first lockdown, there’s a chance we could be back to normal life just as they are. My point is not to blame my countrymen/women but it’s just disheartening to see where we could be while still being stuck in a lockdown almost a year later. The first CoVid deaths should have been a wake-up call. It seems we overslept.
In her Between Oceans blog, Judith E. White combines a passion for planet earth with future issues by asking three questions a month to three different people around the world. Using their answers shows what connects us and how we can work together to find solutions.
Judith E. White has a Masters degree in History and Geography from the University of Vienna and is a co-author of 'Intercultural Areas of Economy and Culture.
Judith is a high school teacher and founder of JU_nique. She lives and works in Vienna, Austria.