It seems a common, global concern enables us to mirror our best conscientious selves to one another. As a society bound to social media, we are generally fighting about which side of us and them we align to and in the process, forgetting our best human attributes.
I imagine it is vastly different when schools close and events are cancelled in a small, isolated town like ours in comparison to metro areas. Here, everyone connects online, offering each other help. Tired of Fortnite, Sean’s schooled and unschooled friends are playing UNO on Roblox together from their own homes.
What a weird exponential twist all of this is as we shift the dynamic of society and economics across the world. Not quite like a disaster, we have power and WiFi. 12 is probably about the best age to be through all of this.
I am grateful for the social isolation and that so many people see the value in flattening the curve. Maybe we are all sheep blindly falling in line. But, as far as the flow goes, this seems like the best wave to ride in the current situation.
Change is inevitable. Shifting together seems like a sound plan. I read recently in Quanta about how systems level up until the dynamic becomes so centralized and sizable that the leveling up creates a shift into a new paradigm. Analogies were drawn with power grids as well as viruses and other cellular systems.
In some cases, it is prudent to control the shape of what develops by dismantling individual grids or smaller segments of the operational system to keep the larger system from overpowering the paradigm too soon – like controlling the boil in a soup stock. But it can also be advantageous to allow the collapse of lower level systems, allowing them to be replaced by entirely different and newer operational organisms. It can be both complex and simple at either scale.
We are a social system, and we are individual humans leveling up. None of us wants to be compromised in any way, but if we are (for any reason), let us hope it is for the sake of a greater good.
Comparatively, immigration controls like ICE exemplify antiquated, malfunctioning, overzealous components of rogue systemic activity gone unchecked to the point of existing not for the greater good. It has spiraled into an ideological dysfunction. US penal systems are another example of corroded segments allowed to grow to the point of being grossly unprepared for pandemic effects (not to mention how inhumane and unjust they have become).
That we as a society can mostly experience consensus about social isolation during a pandemic proves that we have the capacity to use intention and (at least in the case of my small town) draw upon our collective human spirit to create change that helps us level up as we accept certain impacts alongside the emergent paradigm. If we survive such transformation, surely the process was meaningful and the new landscape freer for the benefit of the greater good.
Can we start to shape ourselves apart from the old paradigm of ideological division, reaching arms and hearts across the grid of social isolation to focus how much common ground we truly share?
Can we take this beyond Covid-19 and not forget how closely we resemble one reflection when essential moments dictate our intrinsic desire for connection?
What this means for us v. them may be as simple as letting go and leveling up to factors that shift us into the action of better being. What falls away, my good humans, no longer serves the whole of who we are.