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  • Writer's pictureDana Webster

Dawning Of A New Day

Something has shifted internally for me of late. I feel like I am getting ahold of the fear that has gripped me (and millions of others) since 2020. Like I am now in a position to choose whether or not I will let it have domain over my personal agency.

Apophis imagined as a snake
Apophis imagined as a snake

It's been such a crazy, tragic, mind-altering, life-changing few years and that's left me feeling off-kilter, afraid, frozen, hunkered down, untrusting, attacked. If I were to lay it at the feet of a mythical God, it would be Apophis – The Egyptian God of Chaos. His ultimate desire was to rid the world of order and return it to the chaos that reigned before the birth of the other gods. Sound familiar?

Many of the aspects of our society that we had come to know and rely on were brought crumbling down to the ground. And some of the old paradigms we had rightly eschewed - racism, misogyny, a muzzle on freedom of speech etc. - are being pushed forward again as viable and desirable as though they are worth resurrecting, as though they ever had value.

Are we, finally, feeling the aftershocks of the earthquake/tsunami/hurricane? Is the main event over? Can we venture outside now and pick through the ruined remains for the bits we cherish and want to keep? Perhaps even forge something new and bold from the rubble?

Our civilization survives in the complacency of cowardly or malignant minds ... ~ Albert Camus

Have we become too complacent about the value of humanity and the planet of which we are a part? I think so, yes, and history would concur. How many times has humanity been forced into periods of a massive rethink? Upheaval is the clearing house of bullshit.

Once the dust has settled, we can see with clear eyes that which is left behind and worth saving, perhaps worth cobbling together into a kinder belief system and stronger values. Some of the interesting ideas I see rising above the din of those who have yet to realize that fear is not an emotion worth saving nor promoting are:

  1. Capitalism is harmful to our health. It leaves way too many of us behind. It is inhumane, nay, anti-human. People are finding alternate ways to stay afloat, to making having enough enough without the drive to amass exorbitant fortunes.

  2. Mental health is not to remain in the shadows of shame and secrets. And, more to the point, we accept that it is not the fault of the individual who is in this way afflicted and that they deserve the same level of care as one with a physical ailment.

  3. Misogynistic violence against women is no longer palatable as entertainment.

  4. Patriarchy was a bad idea then and it is a bad idea now. For everyone.

  5. Our reliance on others to provide for us is a house of cards. A move toward self-sufficiency, small communities, the 15 minute city is a big step in the right direction.

  6. Cool cats know that social media is dead. It has overstayed its welcome in a civilized society.

  7. Behemoth systems, i.e. public education, allopathic medicine, organized religions, government-funded mental health care have been exposed as woefully inadequate and out of step with the true physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs of most people.

  8. Productivity for its own sake is a dinosaur of the Industrial Revolution. People now are looking for meaning and purpose in their work.

  9. Busy is the new sitting which was the new smoking ... Rest is the antidote.

It's a little too soon for me to declare the pandemic and its fallout a blessing. I'm still pretty raw from the fear, the rage, the violence and the hate. But I do see glimpses of a new day dawning, one in which we call bullshit on the ignorant, the chaos-makers, the fear mongers, the dinosaurs of survivalist us vs them, black & white thinking. They've had their day and their say. And we've allowed it - good & decent people that we are.

But there comes a time when adults have to rein in the children and send them to their rooms. I believe that time has come.

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