“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
– George S Patton
I wake up in a panic. My eyes are still closed but I have no idea what’s going on. Stepping out of a dark nightmare into reality isn’t much of a difference.
In my dreams I was battling dark apocalyptic forces with my best friend as captains of Bahrain’s elite troops. In my reality I was hiding out from a pandemic threatening to collapse the world into a severe recession and possibly anarchy. It was literally out of the fire and into the frying pan.
It’s three months in, and I still find myself questioning reality. The past is a distant memory and I sometimes feel like it was all a dream. Did I really travel, and go to football matches and travel in trains? I wonder when I’m gonna shake a stranger’s hand again.
If there’s one thing I learnt during this pandemic, it’s how random and chaotic this world really is. Despite our belief that we’re in control I’m pretty sure we are not. I’m sorry to say that we’re just a bunch of ants at the whim and mercy of a cruel random planet.
As conspiracy theories whirl that the virus is man-made, and that Bill Gates is an evil villain it really makes no difference. Who cares where it came from or why? The fact remains that a long list of killers are queued up to kick our behinds: Super bacteria that are about to win the antibiotics race, global warming, the great volcanoes (think Yellowstone), a random meteor (like the dinosaurs), artificial intelligence, and the inevitable absorption of the Earth by our sun (which will be in 7.5 billion years, but still).
The fact that we’ve made it so far is truly a great accomplishment, and if you’re a gambler the odds are with us at least for a few thousand years since it’s just a speck in time. Furthermore, we’ve proven to be a cunning opportunistic resilient species. So even if the majority are wiped out, I believe just a handful of hominids are enough to gather themselves again.
The main question resounding in my head daily is: Have we peaked? Although we have many technical and scientific innovations ahead, I don’t really measure those as absolute markers of success. My personal definition of success is absolute contentment and the happiness of living in the moment. A tough challenge in today’s hyper world and attention deficit social media and technology bombardment.
Were our ancestors happier in their blissful ignorance? In their slow-paced world of limited information and deeply entrenched cultural and societal norms? Have we lost our way in the quest for more knowledge and progress? Is this planet trying to counter our population explosion and buck us off like a parasite that suddenly grew too big? I think there must be some sort of balance in nature and I feel we’ve kinda overdone it. Just a tad.
I also feel lucky that I licked the last golden years of this planet and feel sorry for the new generations facing such turbulent times.
I wish I could end this article on a positive note, but I’m not really in the mood today. We have challenging years ahead of us, and humanity’s ignorance, selfishness, and stupidity will probably compound this virus’s issues. If everyone stayed at home for a month Covid 19 could have been a long-gone memory. As we head to herd mentality, it seems like it’s going to be a game of “survival of the fittest”. So giddiyap, it’s gonna be one helluva ride.