Every morning I go on my balcony to see if the seeds I planted from my store bought cherry tomatoes have started to grow. Despite my desire to do things in a hurry, the seeds grow at their own pace, not mine. That I could be under the thumb of a little seed is a humbling experience. The seed doesn’t care about who I am, my race or my political/religious preferences or how much money I have or what my job is. For my little seed, there are other values, other priorities.
Every morning I talk to my planted seeds and when they start to sprout, I talk to them even more—mainly questions like did you get enough rest, do you need water, are you getting the right amount of sun, etc. I even caress them very gently. And if the seed doesn’t grow, I ask myself “where did I go wrong?”
The seeds have taught me that change is constant and, without change, nothing happens. Only via a constant metamorphoses can a tiny seed become something that will nourish and help keep us alive.
Change is important in other aspects of life as well. Take, for example, opinions. Opinions (which are not the same thing as principles and ethics) can adapt themselves to new experiences and the learning that comes from them. And since, hopefully, we are always adding to our experiences, our opinions should embrace change when necessary. That’s why many opinions we had when young are now démodé.
Unfortunately, there are those unwilling to adapt to the present tense. For example, those participating in protests against the coronavirus lockdown. Their minds, sterilized by dogma, cannot understand that some rules are meant to safeguard communal wellbeing.
In Italy, in only three months c. 130 doctors have died trying to save the lives of those infected by COVID-19. Their freedom to live was terminated, in part, by those who violated the lockdown and continued to spread infection. The protesters’ desire to put the lives of others at risk is not freedom but a calloused recklessness.
Dogma is deadly.