For or Against?

the Great Wall at Beijing,China

There seems to have been a real breach in our defences as a result of Covid.

Up to the end of January most of us were blissfully unaware of the virus, and even when it began to make the lower levels of the news, regarded it as some sort of a little local difficulty.

It’s easier to be against.

Then, like a breach in a defensive wall, everything happened at once. Our routines were shattered, our assumptions about our lives turned upside down. Along with the immediate impact, other things that were conveniently hidden in our day to day lives became very evident.

It challenges the areas we know about how we engage with the world – our status, our sense of certainty, our autonomy, our relationships and maybe above all our sense of fairness. Covid just doesn’t feel fair.

It’s easy to be against things – to create an enemy of someone or something. It allows us to focus, to feel it’s something that has been done to us. Fear – fight, flight, freeze. No need to think, just react. Easy, Automatic, Satisfying – and Pointless.

None of the things we blame are out to get us except in our own minds and the stories we concoct or are sold.

A Virus, The European Union, Immigrants. They have no intent, other than their own interests in surviving. They are not out to get us. They just are. We are safer at the moment than at any point in our history.

Than it is to be for

We are roughly twice as reactive to fear as we are reward. We run from danger, but only walk towards reward.

Viruses are a key component in our survival and immune systems, it’s just that sometimes, they go rogue. The European Union has been at the heart of relative peace in Europe in my lifetime, but has maybe got carried away with its own importance over those who comprise it. If you have been sick, or old, your care has been substantially in the hands of people who were immigrants, or whose parents were immigrants at some point in the last fifty years.

One side of my family I can trace back within fifty miles of where I live for over twelve generations, the other side for barely three. I am equally grateful to both for being here.

Signal versus Noise

Things we are afraid of make lots of noise, from a rustle in the bushes to people with agendas, or just blind hatred, in the media – paid and social.

Signal is much quieter, but much more important. Noise hasn’t brought us to today, Signal has.

In everything going on right now, from the conditions that created a rogue virus, to inequality, to climate change, there is signal and noise that we can choose to guide us.

Being Against and Noise are pointless. The dinosaurs were probably against asteroids.

Being For, and Signal are much harder work. It requires quiet, consideration, thinking, and often swimming against an easy popular tide. Commitment. Purpose. Caring about something beyond ourselves.

Right now we need to choose which we listen to and action.

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