There is a strong difference between conforming and working towards the greater good. There is an even bigger difference between wearing a mask and being under the illusion your freedoms are being rescinded. In this age of individualism and with its dangerous pervasive sense of entitlement it is very easy to fall into a trap and misread what is happening.
Of course this isn’t to say that we must not question or be mindful of how a surveillance society could evolve out of this pandemic, it’s an obvious route/state for those who want to remain in power.
But as citizens of our countries and the world we shouldn’t let these many ideas, notions, concepts control how we view every facet of the societies we inhabit. We should try not to allow ourselves to be engulfed in the all too persuasive negative bias.
Rightfully, many at the moment are scared, locked in their homes, mental health is at risk, this is an unprecedented time, so it’s easy and natural to start looking on the internet for answers to formulate an understanding of what is happening.
It’s also very easy to assume everything is wrong. Everything is unjust. Everything is broken. Our political leaders haven’t exactly given us much reason to believe or trust them. Coronavirus has no doubt changed our lives. Corporations are well known for manipulating societies to meet their ends. But if we choose to always look through these lenses at the world then everything will be wrong, unjust and broken. Just a simple change of outlook and the world can be seen as a completely different place.
Take for instance your position in the world right now, your social capital, in comparison to many others. You live in a house or flat with sanitation, clean drinking water and the treatment/disposal of human excreta. You no doubt have a TV, sofa, kitchen with cooker, fridge freezer, microwave. Bedroom with perhaps another TV, bed, cupboards full of clothes and more than likely a radiator in every room. A smart phone in your hand right now that you are reading this on.
If you get ill or break a limb you have hospital facilities or can visit a doctor, dentist for your teeth, opticians for your eyes, physio for your body and therapy for your mind.
At a young age you get to go to school and devote your life to education throughout the rest of your life if you choose that path. You probably drive a car, just one of the amazing human inventions that has evolved over the years or catch a train or bus to work. You may even travel by plane, what could be more impressive and formidable than actually flying through the sky?
And in times of COVID you are fortunate enough to be able to get help from the many amazing scientific minds that have worked on a vaccine, like many other vaccines the years before, that have eradicated other diseases.
We are simply benefiting from the many incredible minds before us and those living now. Life really is pretty amazing. If you take a moment to sit and meditate on this, we are incredibly lucky. We live in amazing times but we also fool ourselves into an idea of a secure future. Nothing is secure. As Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher said “There is nothing permanent except change”. The only thing we can truly rely on is change. In the last year the world has changed radically and it’s interesting while saddening to see how it has affected our societies.
So what or who do you trust? After all it is trust that will get us through this. It is trust that has got us to where we are now as humanity. At some point you are going to have to trust someone or something. Otherwise how will you get through life?
I’ve heard many say:
“I don’t know anyone with covid so how could it be real?”
Well do a simple thought experiment? Do you know anyone who has had smallpox or polio? Do you know about the island of Lamu located along the shores of Kenya? If no, does this mean it doesn’t exist? Or just a simple case of egotism?
Can we trust the World Health Organization?
Can we trust SAGE?
Can we trust the government?
Can we trust the media?
Can we trust scientists?
Can we trust the Bill Gates foundation?
The list is extensive.
At some point you are going to have to trust someone, why? Because you simply don’t have the education and that is how our societies function. We build on the learnings and expertise of others. No one has all the education about every subject. Granted everybody likes to think they have an opinion on everything, but a little debate will reveal the holes in their knowledge. When my car is faulty I go to a mechanic, because I don’t have the skillset and I trust him to do a good job. Likewise with the dentist, doctor, IT dept, pilots on planes, the list goes on.
I myself have questions on the vaccine for COVID, but I’m also aware I am not a scientist, I don’t have years of experience and studying behind me to even begin to question the authority on the subject. There will be a point where I will have to admit I am unqualified to question those who are creating it and I will have the vaccine because I believe in the greater good for mankind, rather than acting from the selfish position that my freedoms are being curtailed and thinking everything is wrong, unjust and broken.
So imagine if our ancestors decided not to act on smallpox, if our peers refused to take the vaccine, it would still be around now. The fact that that our ancestors acted upon it means we don’t have to suffer now from it. That shows clearly that everything isn’t wrong, unjust or broken. It clearly illustrates as humanity we have the strength to prevail… if only we can learn to trust.