Prayer is Not Enough

Published: April 20, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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In “Finding Hope,” a special report by TIME magazine (April 27-May4), the editors asked a variety of notable individuals to offer their perspective on handling the effects of Covid-19 have had on us all. See if you can identify the common thread in the collection below.

Basketball star Stephen Curry on individual actions:

“I was the first NBA player tested for COVID-19. Thankfully, my test came back negative. But that experience hit me, and it hit me hard. I’m fortunate to have the job I do, and not have to worry about all the many things crippling families across the country during this pandemic: unemployment, hunger, housing. How couldn’t I use all of my resources and the full power of the platform my wife and I have built to help those desperately in need during this time? We have a responsibility to one another.

“My wife Ayesha frequently says, ‘Be the village to help people who are in need,’ and that’s what we’re trying to do. …

“From the moment Oakland schools announced indefinite closures, our Eat. Learn. Play. foundation has played a crucial role in providing more than 1 million meals to Oakland kids and families. Going forward, we’re committed to helping provide nearly 300,000 meals every week to Oakland residents for the next several months, alongside our dedicated partners at the Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County Community Food Bank and chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. Our work with World Central Kitchen has meant reopening more than a dozen Oakland restaurants to prepare nutritious meals for many of Oakland’s most vulnerable residents, including the elderly and homeless populations, and low-income families most at risk.” Read more

Former U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on the world’s response:

“The disease stands poised to cause a far-reaching economic depression and a tragically high number of deaths. Its impact will be felt in every corner of the world. To combat this historic threat, leaders must urgently put aside narrow nationalism and short-term, selfish considerations to work together in the common interest of all humanity.

“As a former Secretary-General of the U.N., I support the call from my successor Antonio Guterres for an additional $2 billion in humanitarian aid to tackle the pandemic. This aid—which will contribute to key efforts such as developing and distributing tests, treatments and vaccines—is essential to reducing the virus’s spread.

“I also urge global leaders, led by the U.N., to consider how to develop a global governance system that can cope more effectively with any pandemics that may occur in the future. They should recommit to the values of the U.N. Charter, and use other multi-lateral bodies—including the G-20, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—to proactively support the world’s most vulnerable populations.” Read more

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama on thoughtful action:

“Ever since news emerged about the coronavirus in Wuhan, I have been praying for my brothers and sisters in China and everywhere else. Now we can see that nobody is immune to this virus. We are all worried about loved ones and the future, of both the global economy and our own individual homes. But prayer is not enough. …

“In this time of great fear, it is important that we think of the long-term challenges—and possibilities—of the entire globe. Photographs of our world from space clearly show that there are no real boundaries on our blue planet. … This pandemic serves as a warning that only by coming together with a coordinated, global response will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face.

“We must also remember that nobody is free of suffering, and extend our hands to others who lack homes, resources or family to protect them. This crisis shows us that we are not separate from one another—even when we are living apart. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to exercise compassion and help.” Read more

All three focus on our collective responsibility to each other.

“We have a responsibility to one another,” Stephen Curry said.

The Dalai Lama offered a similar message. “Therefore, we all have a responsibility to exercise compassion and help.”

And former U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon emphasized, “…leaders must urgently put aside narrow nationalism and short-term, selfish considerations to work together in the common interest of all humanity.”

“Prayer is not enough,” The Dalai Lama says.

In this crisis, we need to remember that we are part of one global community, interconnected and interdependent.

In order to rebuild our faith, we need to appreciate and respect the rights of others. To rebuild our community, we need to contribute to the overall good. To regain our strength, we need to help one another.

Faith will come. Good for our community will come. Strength will come.


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