Staying Calm And Centered Is Not The Same As Ignoring Danger…

Staying Calm And Centered Is Not The Same As Ignoring Danger

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.


We’re in a challenging time right now with constant news about this pandemic that is highly contagious and is affecting the entire globe. Anxiety and panic is, understandably rising, as a result. But, panic causes us to behave in ways that are not rational and could cause more danger. Anxiety and stress can, in itself, create physical illness and can put us at risk for even greater emotional issues. We are truly being tested to stay centered and calm in the face of a real challenge.

Staying centered and calm is not the same as ignoring the real dangers, especially if our behavior could put others at risk. So, let’s all take a deep breath (and don’t breathe it out in someone else’s face) and think about our own actions and how we can make changes in our own behaviors in responsible ways. Hoarding all of the toilet paper will not protect you or your loved ones from catching a virus, nor is it rational or responsible, leaving the next customer with none (virus or no virus, we all need to have access to toilet paper!). Shaking everyone’s hand or going out around people with your brand-new cough is also not rational or responsible. Calling people names for staying on top of the latest information or berating people for feeling panicky is not helpful nor is it responsible. Calling the science a “hoax” is not helpful or responsible. Calling the news “fake,” is also not rational or responsible.

Be kind. Be compassionate. And be peaceful so that you can be a role model to those who are very scared. Try meditation to find your way to peace. I’ve been much better, lately, about sticking to my meditation practice, as there is, certainly, no better time for that than now. And it really works. At the same time, don’t trivialize the situation or act like it’s silly to be concerned. Such a dismissal of the suggestions of scientists and medical professionals might, in fact, be your way dealing with your own anxiety, but it can put the entire community at risk. Your decisions about your own health can actually affect an elderly person across town whom you have never met. As scary as this may sound, there’s a beauty in this opportunity to clearly see that we are truly all connected. Let’s treat this connection with love and caring.


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Dr. Mara Karpel


Dr. Mara Karpel has been a practicing Clinical Psychologist for close to 30 years and is the author of the…

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