Just Thinking: No Hand Shaking, The New Norm
April 17, 2020By V. Knowles

"There has been a great change since I have been born."  (Old time Christian chorus)


Everyone would like to be a survivor, but to achieve that you must respond well to change including the ultimate change looming ahead for the entire human race.


The Coronavirus has changed the way we look at life. Whether we like it or not, whether we are ready or not, things will never be the same again. So we despair, bemoan or complain about our lot in life.


Life, like old man river, just keeps rolling along, leaving those who do not adjust to the moving currents as forgotten deposits of silt along the banks of the overflowing streams.


Change - secular or spiritual - impacts the life of everyone at one time or another.


Most of us do not react well to it. Many of us are violently resistant to the changing dynamics of life. Some of us are dragged kicking and screaming into the future. The American Civil Rights struggle is a prime example.


Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Despondent and downcast, he asserted that we are struggling to get ahead of this virus, glumly predicting that we may experience up to 100, 000 deaths before this is all over. Did you know that he has recommended that we never shake hands again?


Here is another sobering thought, "How do I know the guy preparing my takeout meal from my favorite restaurant is not infected?


Meanwhile, President Trump is frequently blowing up with journalists who, in his estimation, are asking ill-informed, negative, threatening and nasty questions. Welcome to our new normal!


Nothing is ever going to be like it was before. You must be prepared to adjust to the changing times or you will be assigned to the graveyard of failure or death like the corpses who are being left behind in the wake of COVID-19. We should all become very familiar with the meaning of the words "fluidity" and "adaptability" for we will encounter them often in the years to come.


The businesses who will survive the difficult days ahead are those who understand the climate and rapidly change their practices to reflect and respond to the realities of the day.


Nevertheless regardless of changing tastes,values and systems,there is one constant which abides forever--human nature. Those who understand it, allow for it and skillfully address it will  always come out on top.


As offensive as it may sound, the best salesmen and evangelists manipulate and exploit human behavior and emotion to achieve a desired goal or alter a mindset. What do you think was the primary premise in the request - "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men."


What prompted an Albanian nun, Mother Teresa, to spend her life in India, or Scottish evangelist, David Livingstone, to spread the gospel in Africa?


All human beings are driven and motivated by three simple factors: fear, greed/self interest and love/lust. In every human interaction or transaction, one or more of these elements are present. They move preacher T.D. Jakes as well as President Trump. The end result, good or bad, is entirely dependent upon the character and ethics of the promoter.


Think about a gospel crusade, Christian concert or political rally. After the speaker or singer has aroused and engaged the audience, what happens next?


FOMO or the fear of missing out is so ingrained in society that it is said that people in Singapore will automatically join a line without knowing what lies at the end. Why do you think toilet paper shelves are empty in every grocery store?


KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES is why the Bible commands, "thou shalt not covet." This leads people to "buy things they do not even need, with money they do not have, to impress people they do not even like."


AVOIDING PAIN, INCONVENIENCE, DISCOMFORT OR MISERY will cause people to promote or try an untested drug, hydroxychloriquine, to stave off an impending illness. Indeed I came to salvation in Jesus because I wanted to avoid the horrors of hell. Did you know that God does not care why you come, whether it is because of bread and fish, water turning into wine or healing of your blindness--only that you come? Rahab did not want to see her family and friends perish at the hands of the reportedly formidable Israelites so she hid the spies and made them promise to look out for her after conquering her city.


So as the Coronavirus causes us to go where we have never gone before and do and experience things we have never done, I remind you again of the three cardinal rules in the successful saleman's playbook,


1. Create desire

2. Demonstrate need

3. Sign them up


No matter what happens in the future, if you are fluid and adaptable to the changing times, things will turn out alright.


As for the ultimate change, I refer you to the warning of the prophet Isaiah in chapter 66 of the book bearing his name:


"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."  


Finally, I turn your attention to Jeremiah 12:5 and ask "How will you do in the swelling of the Jordan or in the wake of the Coronavirus?"


V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick. He is also the co-author of HOLA America: Guts, Grit, Grind and Further Traits in the Successful American Immigrant

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