This is not my usual kind of post, but it is long overdue. Excuse the waffle as I say a word to the sheeple.
Over the last year we have seen some of the best of social media (and people) and a lot of the worst, Where bushfires and other disasters tend to draw people closer together, the advent of Covid-19 has seen as much animosity as there has been compassion. The views on Covid-19 – specifically the actions being taken to deal with it – have divided people’s views in a way we have not seen in a very long time, and coupled with (the strangest) panic buying, clear divisions have been raised within our communities.
Sadly, compassion and kindness have often been forgotten in the mad urge to have our opinions heard, as some have railed against perceived injustices amid cries of “dictatorship”, and abuse has been thrown at anyone who was unlucky enough to be there when those same people’s vulnerabilities were at there most tender. This is no excuse for such behaviour, of course, although the frustration and anger are understandable to an extent.
We will heal from this, in time, with that same compassion, so long as we continue to look for, use it and teach it. We need to, because the era of the infectious disease is here. Scientists have been warning of it for some time1, and their frequency is increasing. We need to learn to live with significant changes – and this is all linked to the way we have for decades lived and abused our environment – but that’s a story for a different time.
Society: noun: the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
Here in Cardinia, one of the loudest cries of all against the restrictions – in particular the wearing of masks – has been about people following the rules being “sheep”.
There’s a few pertinent points to make about this, so I’m going to lead off with the facetious ones:
- Sheep are actually quite smart2
- Sheep live in herds and cooperate for their own safety and wellbeing
More seriously, our society is structured and we are taught from a very young age, that as we grow up, in order to be a productive member of society, there are certain things we must do – get a job, pay taxes – and so on. This system, originally, worked well, but now serves to focus the wealth and well-being on a (very) small portion of that society.
A Word to the Sheeple
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions
Why did they never mention, what’s real and in between?
It seems the path we’re on was paved with blood and sorrow
No thought about tomorrow
Just part of the machine, or so it seems
Yeah, so it seems
We’re all living the dream
We’re all living the dream
Living the Dream – Five Finger Death Punch
Buzzwords are a significant part of this, and one that has been bandied around a great deal in recent years has been “disruptor”. Well, Covid-19 has been the biggest disruptor in a long time. But we’re all a part of this society – me, if you are reading this, especially you, and your neighbour – which makes all those people saying, “Let’s get back to work and get the economy back on track, sheeples”, the biggest sheep of all. Politicians and the mainstream media (at least the bigger institutions) are majorly culpable in this (and from what some of my network have said to me, there have been some very vigourous debates in parliament around this).
But this is all still beside the point. It doesn’t matter if you think Covid-19 is a fake or conspiracy. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the decisions being made on how to handle it or not. It doesn’t matter if you subscribe to socialism or capitalism. What matters is how we treat each other. Society needs to be about its people, else why bother?
What matters is compassion. Kindness. Respect. Cooperation.
We are ALL a part of it. We are ALL in this together. Get over yourself and start acting like it. A little more focus and following the example of Gurudwara Baba Budha sahib ji Pakenham and a little less on the bratty behaviour of tennis players.
1 National Geographic, Business Insider, ABC
3 Yes, I did quote a heavy metal song in this article. Suck it up, Princess, it’s pertinent.
4 The author is well aware of his part in the machine as well. The irony of this article “A Word to the Sheeple” has not been lost upon him. Thank you