Karl Young: New dream halts runaway train of society
Let's see the pandemic as a reset button on society's views and expectations of one another.
I am fortunate enough to be in a household where there is still a reasonably good income although it is 50 % less than usual. Although the cloud of reality hanging over our heads is that things might get worse before it gets better. The impact of the lockdown in my immediate space has been severe. In a good way — the way I choose to see reality.
Events have occurred in a time of where the air is thick with tension, minds and hearts seem like runaway trains going through tunnel after tunnel, not knowing what the future might have in store. Where will this never-ending marathon of achieving and surviving to the point of insanity lead?
Fence of frustration and stress
Looking at people leaving the country for better opportunities and people seeking refuge in our country. People all around are snapping like dogs at each other through a fence of frustration and stress which society has placed upon us. Global racial tensions are high as foreigners are seen as a threat and we even see people around us as a threat.
We need to constantly defend our positions at work and put others down for the sake of survival. Our music has become songs of struggle and glances to a past where all was not whole and secure. Nonetheless reflecting it was a time where we had the luxury to breathe.
Reached the threshold
It seems like society and Mother Earth has reached a threshold where it is not able to sustain demands and is running on fumes with only the occasional breath of essential air in a sea of struggle. We read and see all around us that resources, such as air and water — not to mention fossil fuels and natural minerals, are getting depleted.
What is of greater importance is our mental and emotional capacity being stretched to the max. We have almost no patience or tolerance for each other, our children, and our surroundings. We just want to flee, and if we do, we are refugees lost.
Fast train without destination
If we reflect to the turn of the century it was a turning point of extraordinary proportions, the machines were in place to make a smooth run. We have made the error of not doing a pit stop in order to analyse and adjust performance for the terrain or circumstances, we all jumped onto the fast train without a destination.
Consequentially now, it is a runaway train.
The year 2020 is a definite turn of course with this train coming to a dead stop, almost a crash dislodging many parts and lives and events.
We are at a standstill, assessing the damage done, who is infected, what can be salvaged and where must funds go in order to get this train running again.
Machine needs repair work
After initial assessment we realise that this machine will not start up again and definitely needs some repair work. We can only compare to our historical events globally. Should we compare the current situation as it is with an imploding war?
Each country, business, household and citizen are shell-shocked with the abrupt stop. Even the government seems to stop barking at one another for the time being and corruption and violence seems to have stalled for a moment.
Given the scenario, being an optimist among pessimists and a pessimist among optimists. I see a bright light on the horizon. Not only for South Africans, but for the world. It will pass eventually, and as stubborn as human beings are, we are again coming to terms with how we depend on each other.
The waiter who complains about bad customers, need them to pay so they can receive an income. The factory owner hooting and cursing the taxi driver needs his employees at work in an affordable way to be able to employ more people so he can manufacture to look after his family, in-laws, and his extended family.
Do what you are good at
We are not only at war with others, but we are also at war with ourselves. We are faced with a time and challenge that we can no longer ignore or subdue people and place them into the category of a mule in a factory. We are all good if we do what we are made to be good at.
We are programmed for the last 90 years, that you need to treat life as a marathon. You choose your lane or career. Outperform everyone around you and win your prize, death or retirement — whichever comes first.
Then this pandemic occurred, and we all stand still, waiting, for we know things will not be normal again.
We have been brought back to family religion and looking after and preserving what we hold deer and prioritising what we genuinely care about. Priorities change and we are brought closer together. As we will emerge out of our holes, we will take more care in our actions and embrace the lost generation for they are now in their glory days and what they stand for is now everyone’s priority — no tolerance for intolerance.
Society benefits from those who are true to themselves
If I may have a dream, may it be that people look more clearly at the way they expect others to conduct themselves, to come to realise that all of us have talents and abilities and we should use that as our guidance — not follow what is expected by others. Life is scary and unpredictable; that is as true as the COVID-19 virus.
There is no such thing as an ideal career or a perfect life. Imagine a scenario in which Jim Carrey was forced to work as an accountant and Marie Curie was forced to be a ballet dancer. Such actions only deprives society of the greatness that lies within all of us. We admire our heroes because they are true to their calling.
The closer you live to the truth or your true self, the better for society and yourself. Let us not live in regret, but in admiration.