This is a strange, bizarre time in the world. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the surreal times we now find ourselves in. A pandemic is a unique reality that is hard to navigate and predict. But one thing is certain: fear is everywhere.
Fear and despair is an awful and gripping disease. It takes my breath away. Some days my anxiety is so torturous that sun seems to refuse to rise after a sleepless night. I find myself taking deep breaths often and trying to slow down the snowball of terror. But here we are… it’s a forever changed and dystopian world we are in today.
I hate fear. It can come from anywhere and it can and often is completely irrational. That doesn’t necessarily make these negative feelings less severe or taunting, but I do try to remind myself (and ironically) others often.
The world has always been and proves itself to be a pretty f*cked up place. A quote I often use when a new horror covers the news is from an old British pastor Charles Spurgeon who said “You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it.”
Today our common enemy may not seem so easy to define when it is an unseen virus that lingers all around us and potentially inside of us. It is hard to call an inanimate object evil and give it a moral rating, but I have no problem calling this pandemic and virus absolutely vile. What else can I call it. Not only does this virus at worse take lives of those most vulnerable all around the globe, but it also steals the wellbeing of society, economy, and seemingly civility.
What is needed right now above and beyond any political messaging, social distancing, or supplies hoarding is hope. Unfortunately this issue is not going to get better anytime soon, in fact, it is likely to get much worse before the sun begins to rise. Although we may not have a unified enemy or foe to fight against, we can all fight against our own urges to give into fear and despair. I must fight, you must, we all must for the sake of humanity and the future we will one day rally together and build.
Like this pandemic full of fear, we need to take a hold of a real and tangible Hope. In this time of encouraged isolation as we all self-quarintine as a society it will be a time of great introspection and self-discovery. May this time off from work, going out in public, going to movies and time relegated to home be one of thinking deeply about what actually matters in life and what each of our grand purpose in life is. Whether we catch this virus or the next pandemic does us in, we were all terminal to begin with. Our time is coming for each of us, and we need a true hope and reason for living to hold on to.
Times like these tests the fabric of society and mental stability of its people. As I close down our small theatre chain, cancel the theatrical release of our movie, and lay off our staff across four states — I too am forced to slow down and look to intangible items for my self-worth. I pray we as a society get back to focusing on greater, eternal truths — that we once again discover a hope that can never never perish, spoil or fade. And may we all find that in this time of solitude.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
⁃ Shawshank Redemption