Agony Aunts are inundated weekly with requests for help breaking up with lovers and friends, in particular women worrying about how best to break up with a girlfriend. Some are asking themselves if it would be wrong to just ghost her.
If in the past we didn’t connect with that, or the song “Breaking up is hard to do”, we certainly can understand the sentiment now, having spent the best part of this year breaking up with what had been our normal life. We have been lamenting the loss of our freedom to see whoever we wanted to, whenever we wanted to, and travel wherever we wanted to. But no amount of wishful thinking can reconstruct a world that doesn’t exist anymore.
What’s left for us to do now is re-imagine a new life for ourselves as everybody does likewise. We could approach the future with a sense of wonder, like a photographer might view a new city or a green field. We will have to make our home there. I heard a quote “There is unmapped territory in all of us” which might mean that there are things I have yet to learn about myself. I hope I find “unmapped” skills that enable me to take my place in the new reality.
It’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Forecasters tell us the post-Covid age will see the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), this time focused on scientific endeavour. Specialists from all scientific disciplines came together to develop effective treatments and vaccines to fight Covid-19, by broadening their base they were able to compress the time frame for testing safety, efficacy and the potential for early approval for compassionate use, at least.
Some buzzwords that come with 4IR are sustainable development in the physical, digital and biological spheres. Under the sustainability banner is social protection for people losing their jobs to robots and artificial intelligence (AI); the U.N. sustainable development goals 2030 are guided by linking water, energy and food.
We can’t go back to our previous notion of normality. We must see that advances are correctly used for a more just and humanitarian society with access to life’s necessities, good health and technology for all. As ever we must be watchful of some lobby groups whose campaigns are for personal gain rather than the good of society.
Who controls the “circuit breaker” that maintains equilibrium will require monitoring.
We have 6 generations alive in our world today portrayed by social scientists as being from the Silent Generation born 1928-45 to Generation Alpha born 2010-24. There must be some visionary men and women amongst us thinking about and planning the future with imagination and wisdom. We have to believe that we’ll make a go of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
I wasn’t around in pre-history times but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the cave paintings carried disinformation. Or who would have known back at the ‘dawn of civilization’ that astronomers in the deserts of Arabia would name a constellation of stars as al-Jawza, a mythical female warrior shown to be facing left. Then came Greek astronomers to name the same cluster of stars as Orion, a mythical male warrior shown to be facing right. I think we are up to the task of sifting through the current infodemic of viral disinformation to find the truth.
It is reassuring to know that human beings can adapt to a wide range of situations when they want to or need to. An example of this is how astronauts’ chemistry, physiology and biology adapts to conditions in outer space travel.
We were surprised when the Covid-19 pandemic came upon us because we hadn’t previously lived through anything with such wide ranging effects all across planet Earth.
Perhaps it was as frightening for some people as suddenly suffering a disability. One’s first thought is about how life-limiting it will be. In time you recollect that you haven’t lost the art of living and you think in an able-bodied way again.
So, let’s drink in all the joys this beautiful planet we live on can give us, listen to the music and keep dancing.
Don’t fret my dear
With my hands I see your hands
With my lips I see your lips
Your voice I hear, and
I see your blue eyes twinkle
In your smiling face
Your calm breathing
Shows me you are well
I count your resting heartbeats
And I have no fear
Those few lines wrote themselves.
I watched a BBC program, The Disordered Eye, about visual impairment and great painters who had various degrees of sight loss or were blind.
I was compelled to think about it.