What if the world stopped turning? What if everything just stopped? We’re now as close as we’ll ever get to an answer to that question. We are experiencing a grand pause. A huge reset button has been pushed. Even our enslavement is on pause. For a brief moment in history we are not mindlessly doing the bidding of our corporate masters. We have severed their grip on our every decision. We have taken a pause in our blithe consuming. For the moment we are no longer the pawns of the oligarchy. Even as we process the epic tragedy of lives lost and the terrible missteps made in preparing for the worst, we have been given a rare opportunity to collectively take a breath and see what greed and excess has actually produced. It’s a time for deep reflection. It’s a time to rethink what we never gave ourselves enough time to think about: I’m talking about the rat race we’ve been calling normal.
We thought we were the masters, “demanding,” what the corporate masters “supplied.” Perhaps we have had a moment now to realize that the opposite is really true. We have been supplying them, while they demanded our mindless obedience. We have been co-opted. The consumers are being consumed. And it is our soul that is being consumed by the few at the top. The corporate behemoth is a soulless thing. It has told us we can’t live without cheap beef from Walmart, that Latte Grande from Starbucks or that gallon of Roundup at Loews. It drives us wild, as we wait for the next season of Stranger Things. As long as we keep clicking the mouse, or inserting the chip it all runs so perfectly. It’s been super easy to just play along, while we delude ourselves that we are in control. All our wants magically have materialized before us, each a distraction from the greed and destruction going on somewhere else. We have muffled the cries of those silent millions working while never seeing the benefit of their labor.
Now we see what our blindness has kept us from seeing. The insulation has worn off. Once we were safe and protected, immune from the suffering of others, skipping from one quick fix of convenience to the next while blaming those pesky little problems on the other party, the other religion, the other skin color. We didn’t really want a solution. “Not my problem,” was the mantra of the day. As long as we thought we had a chance of one day getting whatever we wanted. Ah, that good ole American Dream. There was always that hope dangling out there, that if we just stayed on the treadmill, worked hard and persevered, our ship would someday come in.
Now, here we are, knocked down by a sucker punch from nature, which was herself at the end of her rope, ready to shuck this whole human experiment down the toilet. Now it’s everyone’s problem. We’ve all been knocked off the hamster’s wheel. Some are suffering far more than others, but now we realize, we are all in this together. Will we use this opportunity to wake up? When things return to “normal” will we just climb back onto the grid as if nothing had ever happened, like a good Hamster, I mean consumer? Or will we finally stop?
Soon, we will be the targets of a massive marketing onslaught that will stop at nothing to get us back to normal, something many of us are longing for on an almost primal level. Others of us, however, have taken the time to smell the roses and enjoyed it very much. We have realized in the midst of this crises that what we’ll really have is the rarest of opportunities: to invent a new normal. We will do it by the choices we make, by what we allow back into our lives. Will we finally refuse to accept the dribble from our corporate masters? They will try their best to define that normal for us by advertising their products with lifestyle depictions they want to determine for us, playing on our desperation, exhaustion and confusion. Will we let them do define us? Will we cede control back to them? Or with this great awakening, will we reject them? How will this singular experience have changed us? Will we tolerate less greed, less hate, less excess? Or will we go back to the familiar disconnection and fear of the other? In other words, will we react like a blind animal and dive right back into the world of more? How will we write the next chapter of our human journey together? The answer will be demanded of us sooner than we think. Let us be ready to take a stand to make better choices, going forward.