When the Pandemic is Finally Through With Us
A recent Seth Godin blog reads as follows:
Is everything going to be
If we mean, “Is everything going
to be the way it was and the way I expected it to be?” then the answer is no.
The answer to that question is always no, it always has been.
If we mean, “Is everything going
to be the way it is going to be?” then the answer is yes. Of course. If we
define whatever happens as okay, then everything will be.
Given that everything is going
to be the way it’s going to be, we’re left with an actually useful and
productive question instead: “What are you going to do about it?”
This kind of insight, in my inbox every day is one of the
reasons I find Seth to have such an interesting take on life. He’s been doing
this every day for more than ten years (link).
Well for sure everything is going to be the way it’s going
…some of us are going to die. Not
many, as a percentage, but some. Some of us are going to lose our jobs or
businesses and, again, not all that many.
Life goes on, sicknesses heal and, after
these strange times we’re living through at the moment, life will return to
But it’s going to be a new kind of normal. The old
reliable normal, where only the politics and economic fairness and environment
were fucked up, is over. Want to call it a watershed moment in history?
Well, why not? That’s as good a definition as any.
I choose to see that as an exciting prospect.
I was really getting bored—and actually
somewhat pessimistic—with the direction we had chosen for humanity. I mean,
come on, was Jeff Bezos just going to continue to own more and more of this
poor old planet? I’m sorry, Jeff, but you’re boring.
Were the Democrats and Republicans
going to stay locked up—as they have for forty years—trading off presidencies?
That’s boring. Two generations of boring.
While we were looking the other way, trying to decide
whether Tesla was the future, the planet got bored as well.
You can hardly blame it. After a
few hundred-thousand years of comparative harmlessness, the human race became
suddenly silly, unreliable and hell-bent on wrecking an until-now reasonable
understanding of what we were allowed to fiddle with and what we were not.
When you keep wrecking the
family car, daddy takes away the keys.
So, back to exciting prospects. This coronavirus thing the
planet decided to throw our way is a wake-up call. If we haven’t yet, we’re
about to stumble over to the window, rub the sleep out of our eyes, throw back
the curtains and see what we’ve done.
We will have had a taste of governments
throwing survival-money at the out-of-work, because it was no longer a debate.
It was throw the money or bury the dead. With automation, that’s the direction work
in America is going, so here’s a preview of coming attractions.
Other stuff as well. Working from
home, childcare, online learning, healthcare and probably even the rebirth of
the union movement all got a light shined on them. My guess is the we’re not
going to be willing to go back to life as it was.
Sorry, Jeff, but we got too
close a look at what it means to buy a $168 million home and earn that much in
less than a day.
The super-rich are beginning to understand that.
In our new world, electric will be the power, desalinization
will be the water source, trees will replace industrial agriculture and
populations will fall in direct proportion to education and healthcare. Seas
will rise, populations shift and animals go extinct. Businesses will change
dramatically, because business always responds to needs.
It can—and probably will—be great.
But it will never be like it was.