Get Up (Awaken Now)
Behind the Song, by Bruce Zalcer
Look around. This is the first global catastrophe since the last world war. For much of the world’s population, it is our first taste of dystopia. What might this shared moment teach us as individuals and as a society about utopia? Each individual has been forced to face and confront concepts of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in a profound way through voluntary and forced quarantine. These moments of stress show each us what we must awaken to. And, it does the same for our global society, showing us just how much we should never go back to the way things were before. We must awaken our minds to the lessons we are learning now, come back to purer intentions, and rise to the challenges before us.
This pandemic is a global catastrophe we can’t blame on Trump, the Russians, American aggression or European colonialism, fascism, the 1%, etc. But we still want to, don’t we? In this case, I think it’s not humankind applying theory improperly that causes society to fail, it is theory which is improperly applicable to society that causes humankind to fail. So instead of blaming our leaders, why don’t we use this time to look inwards?
What we need to fix in ourselves?
We typically maintain a faith that in times of emergency someone (even if that person is not us) will be able to fix it. This pandemic destroyed that illusion. It also comes close to destroying the illusion that someone CAN fix it. Or, more poignantly, that we even have the right to have someone fix it at all.
Is being comfortable and safe a human right? Is such belief just a part of human nature? Or, is this faith that everything will eventually work out a product of western consumerist society? Why do we expect it to be ok? Optimism? Survival instinct? Entitlement? Is such an expectation only just an ideal born of privilege?
Instead of fighting our next luxury cause in response to this pandemic, we should realize that the majority of the world is constantly scared of some type of deadly, daily threat – be that viruses and disease, affecting man, animal, economy or crop. This fear we feel, this, my friends, is what that woman in a third world country fears every day: disease, famine, the lives of her children and her husband, and her sister, and her parents. She worries if even she will survive the night. For so many, it’s like this every day! This is our opportunity as a global community for empathy. The question is, after today’s horrors and tomorrow’s horrors, will we apply that empathy forward when all of this has passed?
What we need to fix in ourselves? We start there, then we move the same introspective analysis to our relationships, family, community, city, province, country… and world.
How we could unite to help others? Maybe we could ponder this instead of fighting with those who disagree with us, differ from us, or make us ashamed of where we live or who we are. This pandemic shows us how connected we really are as a global community. We ride or die together. I think a global pandemic – a single pathogen affecting us all – proves that irrevocably.
So, what are we going to do now? What are you doing now to meet the challenge to awaken and evolve as it pertains to your life in quarantine (and life in general)?