Somehow intertwined, definitely unveiled
16 April 2021 | Others
“To see a splendid kingdom fade away is far sadder than seeing a second-rate republic collapse.” (Translated from Japanese by Jay Rubin.)
Sounds a bit like true love fading away due to dis(ease) versus an abusive relationship crashing into pieces. Sometimes we have a love-love relationship with our perceptions about the world, and sometimes we nearly forget that the deeper the love, the deeper the hate. The more entrenched the belief, the greater the disbelief after the initial ‘veil of ignorance’ has been lifted.
The theoretical experiment called the ‘Veil of Ignorance’ is powerful, because our usual opinions regarding what is just and unjust are informed by our own experiences. We are shaped by our race, gender, class, education, appearance, sexuality, career, family, and so on. On the other side of the Veil of Ignorance, none of that exists (based on work by Rawls). What if you knew nothing of your sex, race, nationality or individual interests, and then spent time with others?
The accountant, the engineer, the architect, the psychologist, and the teacher. Is one’s work more significant than the other in building a new school? Shaping the values for the school? Does the title engineer define that you are incapable of making recommendations for maintaining discipline at school, although you have five children of your own?
The new realities exposed by solitude amidst Covid-19 have affected our perception about change, expectation, adaptation, norms and rules. Our perception of what is ideal, and what is regarded just and true.
Looking at the royals now versus a few hundred years ago – we spot some crucial changes in how the public views authority and status amidst leadership. Access to information and the power of online and social media voice has shamelessly unlocked the cages of modern thinking. The herd-mentality is more popular than condoning regime-slavery. Social media has brought humour and emotion back into communication, and this has changed the trajectory for corporate/political communications, and our expectations ‘from the other end’. The queen and duchess now appear in animated GIFs with bird poop and exposed breasts involved, quite inappropriately so.
Idealism asks: “What separates us from each other?” Is there a net value to that? Does it change the way we speak or listen to each other? The problem I have with titles is that they separate people only to connect to solve problems with the tools that you have, or do not have. It sets boundaries. To an extent, we voluntarily become the tool in the mechanics of humans, and speed through the emotion and relation of being a human. Relationships outlive pragmatically orientated and systematically engineered ‘solutions’ to society. When relationships are hurt, people act from their reference - hurt.
At times, titles are used to shift responsibility and accountability. It’s a form of procrastination amidst economic and political sh*tstorms. It is more agreeable to point the finger than it is to adapt to challenging and changing circumstances. When you become the student in class who decidedly looks away from the teacher when the class gets asked questions, and you choose not to lift your hand.
Perhaps to have seen a splendid version of humanity amidst Covid-19 and facing the fear of ‘going back to the way we were’ is scarier than seeing yourself give up on the change you worked so hard for. We want to thrive after all, not just survive? The answer is to embrace a change mindset as the only constant, by growing relationships that sound, feel and act real. Avoid the ones that are not.
There are no 50 shades of grey for happiness or humanity, it’s an either-or question that starts with the way we have experienced life. Then we decide to accept that we cannot shift responsibility and accountability, and that we have to keep on moving, else we become machines that function with oil and politics. Becoming uncaged scares us, because like Marianne Williamson said: “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us”.
Perhaps we can find a way to also see that the deeper the hate, the deeper the love needs to find us again.