Here we are, several weeks into lockdown, and normal life couldn’t feel farther away. These days ‘normal’ feels like a lot like a foreign land seen from a great distance.
As we wait to find out what the new post-Covid-19 normal will look like, many of us are enjoying more time to think than we’ve ever had, at least since we were at school and had long summer breaks.
A massive boom in creativity
All this thinking, all this spare time… the more of it passes, the more creativity we’re seeing. If you have a relative or friend who has recently discovered a skill they never knew they had, or a talent they had no idea they possessed, you’re not alone.
People are writing poems, short stories and novels. They’re painting, drawing and sewing. They’re re-purposing and recycling, crocheting and knitting, making and mending. The nation – maybe the world – is baking and cooking and gardening, learning to play instruments, singing, doing impressive amounts of DIY, and thinking about their lot in life more deeply than ever before.
Free thinking drives change
All this free thinking time is having another dramatic effect, and The Establishment must be getting pretty worried about it. More and more of us are realising that the status quo, the old way of doing things, was actually a bit rubbish. A lot rubbish in many ways, to be frank.
Do you want to return to the bad old days? To a world where climate change is charging ahead, water wars are on the horizon, sea levels are rising fast and air pollution kills thousands of us every year? Where some of us are so poor we can’t afford food for our children, while others are so rich they couldn’t possible spend their stash if they lived another hundred years? Where idiot governments allow the Amazon rainforest to be trashed, our fellow creatures driven to extinction, our children’s futures put in terrible jeopardy? I say no thank you. Stuff that for a lark.
Come the revolution, brothers and sisters
I don’t rate the old world very highly. The extreme capitalist consumer model we’ve been saddled with by the rich favours them, and them alone. The rest of us are left to struggle along the best we can while property prices rocket, investment banks are allowed to ruin the economy with no come-back, and right wing governments do nothing more than sit back and grin as the world burns.
If we’re not born into wealth, from the moment we’re born we set off on a trajectory. Our schools only teach us the things we need to slot neatly into the capitalist model, a model that sees most of us underpaid and under-appreciated in order to make the man at the top even richer than the greedy bugger already is. Do you hear me, Richard Branson et al?
If you can’t slot into the model, don’t have the right skills to get a ‘good’ job and make money the capitalist way, you’re mostly abandoned to a life of poverty and disadvantage, labelled lazy and feckless. But however good – or not – we are at playing the capitalist game, that’s us for life. We’re locked into a cosmic-scale pyramid scheme in which only those at the very top actually benefit. Crap or what?!
Are you keen to see a brand new, fresh normal arriving, a kinder world where there’s more equality, a fairer sharing of resources? A world, perhaps, where the selfish rich few are a whole lot less influential. A landscape in which the wealthy one percent simply can’t exist any more, or at least can’t manipulate and influence the rest of us in the same old selfish, sinister ways they always have.
Rebellion has many faces, of course. I’m not talking about fighting in the streets. Revolution in our current context can be as simple as millions more of us deciding to work for ourselves from home. Millions of us might decide to stay home for our holidays and communicate digitally instead of flying. Millions might decide we want a better deal altogether. If that’s a revolution, then yes please.