It’s so tempting to let this crisis turn us in on ourselves. It can be something as mundane as hoarding toilet paper. But it can go a lot deeper than that. We can hoard money, time, attention, and contacts.
All of these responses come from a deep belief that there isn’t enough. That if I don’t take care of myself, no one else will. That I’d better grab an extra cookie when they pass the plate because they might run out. We use accumulation as a crutch to manage our fears.
It doesn’t have to be that way. One of the most subversive things we can do when fear turns some to hoarding is to err on the side of generosity. Generosity brings us joy because it encourages us to practice a cheerful detachment from stuff that won’t really satisfy us anyway.
We can be generous with resources, trusting that we will have enough. We can be generous with time, knowing that we all have exactly the same amount and that it was a gift in the first place. We can be generous with human connection, knowing that when we interact with others we almost always get more back than we give.
While you’re at it, be generous with yourself. We’re all doing the best we can in the circumstances.