We’re all vulnerable.


You, me, the President of the United States, and every other creature under the sun: all of us are fragile and exposed to the scary things of the world.

Yet we prefer the illusion of invulnerability, don’t we? “I’m fine,” we often reply when asked how we’re doing. Most people I know would rather think of themselves as safe & protected than accept mortality as a constant companion. (I know which option I prefer!)

Meanwhile, the great religious and spiritual traditions of the world teach the wisdom of embracing our vulnerability. Ecclesiastes, a text sacred to Jews as well as Christians, says “the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same: They all have the same breath, …and all turn to dust again.”

The Buddha repeatedly emphasized the impermanence of all things. He said we miss a vital aspect of reality if we do not see that everything, including our own lives, can (and eventually will) be blown out like a candle flame.

A not-so-welcome gift of the coronavirus pandemic is the invitation to fully awaken to our shared vulnerability. There is wisdom in recognizing what we have in common with animals. plants, and the earth itself: we’re all frail, and life is fleeting.

From there, it’s not such a big leap to conclude that, fundamentally, we belong to each other. From such a vantage point, it’s easier to recognize that supporting and encouraging one another is better than giving in to suspicion, fear, and mistrust. If we’re all vulnerable, we all need each other. 

At Center for Spiritual Wisdom, we envision a world in which mutual support and encouragement are more common. In our October e-news, you’ll discover how you can be part of this vital work. I am personally asking for your support, and hope you will consider a gift to help us keep our doors open in the coming months.

-Rob Field, Director

photo credit: Erika Fletcher on Unsplash