One meditation teacher I listen to said we have 85 thousand thoughts a day. My first reaction was, wow, that’s a lot of thoughts. But my second reaction was why are 84 thousand of my thoughts about my Frida Kahlo mustache.

I can only hope the other thousand are a little less narcissistic. I would hope they are about healing this broken world.

Most of the people I know think the pandemic is a great opportunity for us to change, to realize how we are all connected, that if one person is hurting, then we are all hurting. In every spiritual tradition that I have studied they talk about us as not being separate, that we are all One.

Then there are some who want to go back to “normal” which for many translates to going back to the great income disparity, to institutionalized racism, to reclaiming the power they feel they are losing, and to being avid consumers where progress means biggering and not necessarily bettering.

The one thing we all agree on is that we, as a society, are at a tipping point.

My teacher Ram Dass told a story about his father who had been a big deal lawyer and businessman. Ram Dass had begun to become well known and was starting to give talks where he would sell his books and tapes. One day a large delivery of boxtapes arrived, just as his father was also arriving. As Ram Dass was unpacking the cartons, his father said how much are you charging for these? And when Ram Dass answered, his father said that’s way too little, you’re not making enough of a profit.

And Ram Dass said when you’re representing Uncle Harry in any of his legal problems what do you charge him? And his father said, I don’t make anything on him. He’s family. To which Ram Dass said, exactly.

So here we are at this crucial societal moment of truth. We can either start seeing each other as family, make sure everyone is taken care of, has enough to eat, has a job, is safe, is treated with respect or we can go back to the normal that got us so messed up in the first place.

I will continue to meditate and hope this spiritual shift will hit the fan and work on reversing my numbers; 84 thousand for world peace and compassion and one thousand for a Lady Schick shaver.

Nancy Aronie lives in Chilmark. She is the author of Writing from the Heart: Tapping the Power of Your Inner Voice (Hyperion/Little Brown) and teaches the Chilmark Writing Workshop.