The Strength of Interconnection

Mindful editor Anne Alexander reflects on the new realities of COVID-19 and encourages us to embrace loving-kindness.

Photo by Stephanie Diani

While we were finalizing this issue—with Mindful staffers working from home and COVID-19 on the news—what kept running through my mind was the depth of interconnectedness.

That’s such a far cry from the rugged individualism many of us grew up with. In high school, I remember reading Emerson’s essay “On Self-Reliance” with delight. Its quintessentially American view urging us to avoid conformity and trust your own voice. And I did.

But now, that bold individualism doesn’t feel so alluring.

What’s calling now—individually, collectively— is banding together. What’s so clear is the need to support one another, to bring kindness where there is pain, generosity where there is need, vulnerability where there is hardness, all softened, smoothed, and strengthened by love, the loving-kindness of interconnection.

Indeed, loving-kindness seems so much wiser, like the grown-up elder who welcomes the young hero from his or her adventures back into the fold and mature love of community.

Loving-kindness is vital to pull us through this global pandemic. From the heroism of healthcare workers, and many others on the front lines to communities, neighbors, and families all pitching in and pulling together.

We are all in this together and together we will find our way out.

With that in mind, we’ve dedicated space in the issue to understanding and cultivating loving-kindness with the luminescently inspiring Sharon Salzberg as our guide. Sharon shares her journey to loving-kindness, defining its relevance, and a beautiful vision:

“I believe in the possibility of a world where our interconnection is a deeply known and motivating force, where no one is left out…where change might be hard, but is always seen as possible, however stuck we might feel in any given moment.”

As COVID-19 encircles the globe, drawing us closer together even as we need to be apart, I hope you too create—and feel—waves of loving-kindness, supporting, healing, and carrying you forward.

With love,