Compassion Web

The Context

The past week has had an intensity to it. 6 people in my network had tested Covid positive, 3 of whom are in hospital.

One asked me to write an eulogy, if it came to that.

This past week I also read Nora Bateson and Mamphela Ramphele’s article on Cold and Warm questions, about people being with each other. And wrote this blogpost on Friday evening: People Need People.

And on Saturday, I lived the Post.

Numbers Become Real

It started with a 7 am “How are you?” message to a friend. His wife was critically sick with Covid in a comparatively rural part of Maharashtra with weak healthcare system.

He asked me to amplify the struggle on social media. I sent the info through to some of my whatsapp groups, here on Fb and Twitter.

What I witnessed next was MAGIC.

Friends who knew me quickly activated their networks and began to chase possibilities for better treatment – an ICU bed with trained staff in the same area or nearby cities.

Phone calls, check back ins, a quick tracking. So much so, one dear friend, thinking into future asked if medical fundraising for expenses would be required.

On twitter, folks stepped up to activate their networks. @TeamSOSIndia made of civil society members on twitter quickly assessed what they could do to help.

One of my good friends, Mamta, known on twitter as Silverlightgal, had also tested positive with symptoms and was searching for a bed in Mumbai. She and I had worked with disaster management for many years.

As she waited for her own bed, she decided to search an ICU bed for this other lady. And there she went pinging folks, seeking help.

Citizens, Cops, Journalists, Businessfolks, Senior Politicians — stepped in to help.

By afternoon, an ICU bed was found, the lady moved and this Sunday morning  I received the message that she is stable and recovering.

People Need People

Nora and Mamphela’s words resounded:

  1. People are NOT numbers.
  2. People are NOT roles.
  3. People need People.

People need People not to save each other, or influence the other for an outcome.

People need People because the very Being-With-Each-Other is an emergent space for unexpected possibilities that is discovered and evolved ONLY in that space.

That collaboration is not a new-chic pandemic term; rather it is a significant source to Create and Innovate.

You can read the article by Nora Bateson and Mamphela Ramphele here.

You can read my previous post here.

Each person that I witnessed yesterday brought their life spirit, opened their resource for a Stranger. They worked from an identity scope that exceeded narrow identity positions of family, close friends, my people, my colleagues. They trusted. They stayed focused keeping the light on the stranger who needed help. Together they weaved a Compassion Web.

And the Stranger lived a New Day.

None of this I could have predicted. When I started, I didn’t know where my friend’s town was located. Couldn’t point it on a map, leave alone what infrastructure or people it had.

And yet today, 24 hrs later, I know so much about that area.

Some of the twitter posts are on this blogpost. Among others from my friends circle are– Kiran Tare, Ananth Srinivas, Swarna Rajagopalan, Sunil Mane, Anand Gaikwad, Ambika Shaligram and their wonderful friends who helped the lady access safe and quality treatment.

Thank You for helping me witness Magic and Kindness and Hope.

Thank you for teaching the BOTH frame, not Either/Or frame (if I care for you, I don’t care for me and vice versa).

I care for You and Me and together we will turn around this Pandemic.

With Love and Light,

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