As April showers make way for...more May showers, some states are making a lot of noise about "re-opening" - as well as some IMO il-advised and likely self-defeating anti-worker and death-enhancing moves. I think it's a great chance for us all to reflect socially and individually on what "getting back to normal" really means.
"Never let a good crisis go to waste." It's a thought and ethos that prominent voices from both major parties (and minor ones too) have "accused" the others of creating, misappropriating, and applying to evil purpose. But the modern western promulgation of this thought actually belongs to the often-brilliant Winston Churchill. It points to the reality that crises that threaten our way of life also are harbingers of inevitable change in that way of life, and an opportunity to reevaluate and take stock of that way of life. To think about what matters and doesn't matter,, what parts of our way of living make us happy and what parts of it don't. They forcibly open up society and individuals to change, and it's the most important time to think about how that change should be shaped.
The usual pattern is for extreme events not to create really new avenues of change, but to accelerate threads that are already in motion. Will the pandemic accelerate the global rise of nationalism, wall-building, and a "me-first" mindset set on the preservation of existing privilege and our myths of infinite-growth? Will it turn that back and create more momentum towards broader international cooperation and appreciation for the essentials, as our inevitable global interconnectedness was made so apparent, in such a painful way for so many? At the individual level, will the economic, social, and service disruption lead to personal introspection about what does and does not lend itself to personal fulfillment and happiness? Or was all that just too uncomfortable, to be as quickly buried and forgotten as the general anesthetic of normal American consumer life can be brought back on line, and our old trajectories be reestablished?
Never let a good crisis go to waste. We've certainly got a good crisis here. How would you like to see it lead to change?
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