“The future is uncertain…but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity”-Illya Prigogine
The world is changing before our very eyes.
Some people are angry about it. Some people are sad about it. Some of us are just curious and waiting to see what shape it takes. But, no matter how you feel about it, it’s inevitable that the world will no longer resemble the world any of us has known before.
It’s funny how I remember learning about history in school. And, as we read about historic facts, I never thought about what the people must have gone through as the change was happening.
I feel lucky. We have social media and 24-7 news at our disposal to be able to learn about the changes in real-time.
I cannot imagine how people learned of massive change back when mail was delivered by Pony Express. It may have taken months to years before everyone else caught up with the huge changes within the country.
We have access to what is happening globally. Between quarantines and racial unrest, we have been asked to live and think differently.
Our new revelations are giving birth to newly proposed laws, ideas, consequences, and corporate policies. We have been forced to think about how we affect other people and their ability to move safely through life, either by asking someone to wear a mask to protect their health or to ask someone to not resort to violence against a race of people.
Some people are still resistant to these changes. They want the world to remain the way they know and feel comfortable, even if it’s harmful to others. Some people cling to hate. Some people view the changes in the world as encroaching on their desire to remain ignorant to how their choices may deprive someone else.
What has clearly been unearthed and brought to the surface is how many people are in pain. And, the argument is really about who has the more valid claim to their pain.
The answer is not in being the better victim.
The fact is that what has been done can’t sustain itself any longer and that is why change is coming about. The Quarantine put stress on everyone. People were forced to face all of their choices with no distraction as they sat in their homes. They tried to manage their families, their jobs, and their children’s education. Every crack in the foundation of what they had built was suddenly being crushed under stressful restrictions. There were no distractions. You couldn’t leave to numb yourself with movies, alcohol, sports, or beautifying yourself.
Anxiety and stress for many continued to build as they had no coping strategies and their mechanisms were gone. And, this fed directly into the racial tension creating a powder keg of explosive responses sending people to the streets demanding justice.
But, I also think having clear minds and a new understanding of how much work it takes to be human, it also gave people an ability to feel compassion they may not have had in the past. Some developed a renewed affinity for their families and couldn’t imagine worrying about their child the way a person of color does. Maybe the threat of illness leading to death made someone understand the fear of death that people of color must feel on a daily basis.
I think it was the perfect storm that was necessary to bring about change.
The unrest and the continuing Pandemic will stir up every emotion that a person doesn’t want to deal with. And, it has stripped us of every way to distract ourselves until we must deal with the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
How do you handle uncertainty? You have to sit with it. You have to understand your feelings. You have to figure out which side you stand on. And, then you have to be kind to yourself and others as they grapple with it. You may need the help of therapy and there is no shame in that.
But, there is no way to stop the changes that are occurring. We can either go with it or go against it. However, we have all read the history books and it’s history for a reason.
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