A Circle of Light: Moving through and beyond the Coronavirus Crisis

As the entire world population faces the threat of the coronavirus, we have become self-quarantined and socially distanced. There is no “business as usual.” The global economy, the global balances of power, and the very process of globalization are all shifting, in ways that defy reliable projections in terms of outcomes, or visions of what kind of world we will “return to” post-coronavirus.

Throughout UPF’s recent Summit series, we have underscored the values of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values, indicating that we all are interconnected and members of one human family, that we seek a broad, productive and generous sharing of all the benefits and blessings of our life together on this planet, and that there are widely shared core values that have compelling and widespread adherence across religious, ethnic, and cultural lines.

In the midst of this pandemic, how might these core values apply, in terms of getting us through this crisis and in terms of serving us as we emerge on the other side of this threat? Stated simply, UPF can affirm and encourage the following “best practices”:

Unity: We are members of one universal human family. Let us not “use” the crisis to underscore or deepen divisions that may afflict us as members of particular national, political, religious or cultural communities.

Cooperation: We can overcome this crisis through cooperation, compassion and open communication. Let us seek to prevent political or religious polarization, and let us see a greater, cooperative unity across all boundaries.

Dialogue: Indeed, our world was moving toward increased political polarization prior to the widespread emergence of this virus, and there are some indications that the dynamics of confronting the virus are contributing further to such tensions. Therefore, let us work, through dialogue and mutual respect, to keep the delicate fabric of humanity in one piece.

Compassion: People are suffering—members of our own families, our neighbors, fellow citizens, members of our faith communities, and our brothers and sisters across the planet. We all can make efforts to assist and support those in need, most notably those who serve as health care professionals and the millions who are suffering financially due to the slowing global economy.

Let us work to be a circle of light (a “corona”) in the darkness. With this in mind, we encourage the worldwide UPF community to be of service to our brothers and sisters near and far. Please share your best practices and stories by sending them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the weeks ahead. With this in mind, UPF will be convening a variety of social networking opportunities, including online working groups, conference calls featuring expert presenters on relevant topics, and solicitation of articles for publication.       

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