Giving Compass' Take:

• Margaret Klein Salamon explains how young people are leading the way in turning grief into action as we embrace a new normal.

• Grief is an essential step in embracing loss. How can we turn grief into action and improve upon the status quo as we make our way through this crisis?

• Learn about how your increased giving can play a role in creating a more sustainable world.

The coronavirus pandemic is transforming our political reality and our lives. Unnerving images of hospitals overflowing with bodies, miles-long car lines for food banks, and police using the emergency situation to harass and intimidate people of color reveal the undeniable failure and fragility of our current political and economic systems and our way of life.

Meanwhile, the looming climate emergency and sixth mass extinction are hanging over our heads and contributing to an overall feeling of fear, dread, and unease about the future. According to a recent study, within 50 years, billions of people will live in a climate so hot that it’s “unsuitable for human life to flourish.”

As a clinical psychologist, I know that when confronted with devastating losses, grief is the only healthy way to respond. You can’t get “over” grief; you also can’t get around it or away from it. The only way out of grief is through it. Grief ensures we don’t get stuck in the paralysis of denial, living in the past, or in fantasy versions of the present and future.

Young people are leading the way, showing us how to turn grief into action. They understand that we have two choices at this point: transform or collapse. Many are attempting to speed up the transformation of society, while also preparing for collapse. They are simultaneously adapting to a future they don’t want and fighting to take their future back.

While quarantined, many of us have time for reflection and emotional expression. Hopefully, we can use this pause to reflect on and grieve the fact that our economic and political system is fundamentally, dangerously broken. We cannot go back to “normal” because normal was killing us.

Read the full article about turning grief into action by Margaret Klein Salamon at Grist.