Fear, Denial and Connectedness

headshot of Mark Chupp

Mark Chupp
March 30, 2020

What can we learn about community from this vexing physical distancing? How can we embrace the new opportunities that are emerging as we work to increase our connectedness while being physically isolated?

What is happening to us? Fear has gripped our world. To be clear, fear can be a resource or a debility. Fear based on stereotypes, prejudice and racism leads people to irrationally separate themselves and act out in ways that are dehumanizing. When we do this we are othering, a process that denies someone’s humanity. John powell argues that in the process we deny our own humanity and our connectedness. When someone wrongly mistreats someone of Asian descent, they are hurting the other and destroying part of themselves. This fear hurts us all.

Fear can be a resource if we listen to it and use our intellect to decipher its meaning. Fear warns us of potential danger. Facing our fears and arming ourselves with facts and science can safeguard us from becoming sick and possibly dying. Denial of fear and real threats oddly increases the danger. Denying the possibility of transmission of the coronavirus because you show no symptoms, puts yourself and others at greater risk.

At the same time, all-consuming fear can immobilize us and affect our mental health. Filling our day with news of the virus’ spread and stories of tragic loss increases anxiety to the point of not being able to concentrate or sleep. Self-care and a balanced diet of the information we take in will lead to a more stable and safe life.

Ultimately, we need each other to face our fear and uncertainty and navigate through an ever-changing reality. As we build new pathways to connect with others through social media, old-fashioned mailed cards and phone calls, we discover a deeper level of community that was missing from our frenetic lifestyles.

The loss of control and independence today is real, producing its own anxiety. But if we use this moment to expand opportunities for people to use their gifts to increase our connectedness, people regain a sense of control as they act. This can be as simple as encouraging those feeling isolated to call three people in their network to check in on them. In helping someone else, the isolated experience community and gain a sense of purpose.

As for information overload, Sherri Mitchel provides help in her book, Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change. She suggests that we spend 10 percent of our time staying knowledgeable about what’s happening, 10 percent addressing the causes or the negativity and 80 percent of our time working toward the good we want to create in the world.

Facing reality-based fear and finding safe ways to strengthen our connectedness promises to bring healing to us and our fractured world.

The Community Innovation Network is developing new practices for creating connectedness during physically distancing. Please share with us what you are doing.


恐惧,否认和联系

作者 Mark Chupp 翻译:崔馨元
2020年3月30日

在疫情不断扩散的情况下,我们能从令人困扰的社交距离当中学到什么? 当我们的身体被孤立的时候,我们如何才能拥抱正在出现的新机遇,来增强人与人之间的联系呢?

当恐惧笼罩我们的世界,人与人之间的联系生了什么?需要明确的是,恐惧是一把双刃剑,它是一种资源,也可以是种威胁。

基于刻板印象、偏见和种族主义的恐惧会导致人们不理智地作出非人道的行为。这些非理性非人性的行为是在排斥他人,也是一个否定人性的过程。人与人是相互依存的。约翰•鲍威尔(john powell)认为,在排斥他人和否定人性的过程中,我们也否定了自己的人性和与他人的联接。当有人不公平地、错误地对待华人亚裔时,他们不仅是在伤害他人,也在摧毁自己的一部分。这种恐惧是一种威胁,它伤害了我们所有人。

但如果我们倾听恐惧,并用我们的智慧去理解它的意义,恐惧可以是一种资源。直视我们的恐惧,并用事实和科学武装自己,可以帮助远离病毒。而否认恐惧和威胁会以某种方式使我们处于危险之中。如果因为你没有表现出任何症状而否认冠状病毒传播的可能性,会使你自己和他人面临更大的风险。

与此同时,吞噬一切的恐惧会使我们无法动弹,影响我们的心理健康。每天都会有疫情传播的消息和悲惨损失的故事,让我们焦虑不安,以至于无法集中精神或甚至影响睡眠。多关心自己身体和心灵健康、保障均衡营养能够帮助我们的生活更健康稳定。

最终,我们需要彼此一起来面对恐惧和不确定性,并在不断变化的现实一起前进。当我们建立新的途径与他人保持联系时,我们发现在原本狂热的生活方式中所缺少的那一个更深层次的社区联接。

如今,失控感和孤立感是真实存在的,这让我们产生了不同程度的焦虑。但如果我们利用这一刻通过发挥我们的才能天赋来增强人与人之间的联系,我们就会在行动中重新获得控制的感觉。这可以很简单,比如鼓励那些感觉被孤立的人打电话给三个朋友,询问他们的近况。在帮助别人的过程中,即便正在体验孤立也可获得一种使命感。

关于信息过载,雪莉·米切尔(Sherri Mitchel)在她的书中提供了帮助,《神圣的指示:本土智慧为活的灵性改变》。她建议我们花10%的时间了解正在发生的事情,10%的时间解决原因或消极因素,80%的时间致力于我们想要在世界上创造的美好。

面对基于现实的恐惧,找到安全的方法来增强人与人之间的联系,这将给我们和我们破碎的世界带来治愈。

The Community Innovation Network正在尝试新的关于如何在保持社交距离的同时创造更多联接的实践。请与我们分享你正在做的事情。

Read the Community Innovation Network Anti-Discrimination Statement