I was sent a great article yesterday entitled, “Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting: You are not crazy, my friends,” written by Julio Vincent Gambuto. He talks about the upcoming marketing extravaganza we survivors will be barraged with post COVID-19. How companies will try to convince us that we’ll need a Coke or a Big Mac, a new car or gadget to make us feel “normal” again.
But, like catching our parents having sex, we can’t unsee what we’ve all just witnessed. America just bit itself in the ass. We, the teenagers of the world that thought we had it all figured out and were invincible, just got schooled. This great American experiment, marked by equally created citizens with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and controlled by markets that fix themselves, turned out to be a lie at worst or an expired version of an idea at best. Because it turns out that our American exceptionalism is about as real as a Real Housewive’s face during her second season.
Thus we’re going to need to do one of two things in response to this shit-show: Pretend none of this happened nor negatively affected us.
As Gambuto so wonderfully stated below, “…Marie Kondo the shit out of it all”.
One of my favorite quotes came from a New Yorker named Joseph Aldo who said during a presentation, “You’ll know what you need to know, when you need to know it.” In other words, sometimes you don’t have the information you want because you don’t actually need it. Yet. I’ve learned over the years that this concept, if trusted, can set you free.
I’ve been wondering for years now why the hell Trump was elected? Perhaps it never made sense because the pandemic hadn’t hit yet? Perhaps what happens AFTER this pandemic is behind us, wouldn’t even be possible without first having an incompetent leader in charge in the first place?
Hillary would have named a Czar, crossed the political aisle, gave condolences to the fallen and worked tirelessly with Governors from all states. And just like when Fox News freaked out over the Obama-Christy post Super Storm Sandy handshake, the Right would’ve attacked Hillary nightly for handling a pandemic properly. Any death would’ve been one too many. Putting lives over the economy would’ve been so reprehensible and unconscionable, the outrage would’ve made their Bengazi obsessions look balanced and fair. Rather than solving the problems at hand we would be inundated with bullshit leading up to a pretentious election cycle that would further divides us as a nation.
Whereas Trump’s incompetence, narcissism, and daily fabrications along with his lack of intelligence, self-awareness, and an iota of strategy has made it impossible for us to look away. Whether you full out rubberneck, aghast and horrified or glance quickly as you ride by, there is no mistaking that a trainwreck has occured.
So while we all shelter in place, instead of hoping for a return to our pre-2020 lifestyles we should be imagining a different reality all together. Gambuto is right. It’s time for all of us to Marie Kondo this country and what we clain to stand for.
- Commit to tidying America up.
- Imagine an ideal lifestyle (not just for those that are privledged, but for the most disenfranchised among us). AKA if what you’re imaginging for you and your family isn’t good enough for your black, lesbian, transgender, minimum wage working neighbor who doesn’t have access to healthcare, then it’s not good enough for you. Imagine something better.
- Purge. Discard. Get rid of what isn’t working.
- Clean by category first. Clearly there are many to choose from: The role of for profit news organizations; Lack of political transperancy and truthfulness; Political cronyism; Putting one’s political party before one’s country; Putting politics over science when making decisions for Americans; Capitalism; Healthcare; For profit hospitals; Earning a living wage based on where you reside; Criminal Justice Reform; The role of religion in our politics; Inequality based on gender, race, & sexual preferences; Student loan debt; and the role of Government in our lives, to name a few. We must study how this pandemic affected each category separately so as to determine what to get rid of, tweak or keep.
- Tidying in the right order. I guess we figure out what hurt people the most and start there: Not investing in pandemic response infastructure; Being lied to by our elected officials; Being lied to by a media conglomerate; Not having uniform access to healthcare; Not properly using, coordinating or delegating federal resources, etc. Clearly we have a long list to unpack.
- Ask yourself if it “sparks joy”?
- Being safe from a pandemic, while trying to create a universal flu vaccine, while working with global health officials to keep our modern way of life from spreading disease DOES spark joy! Let’s fund those programs.
- Being lied to by elected officials DOESN’T spark joy! Therefore cosequences need to be in place besides merely waiting for elections every 2, 4 or 6 years to punish officials that arent doing the job they were elected to do. Let’s start with term limits.
- Having access to healthcare that’s not tied directly to one’s employment status DOES spark joy. Let’s provide it for all Americans!
You get the idea.
So get cracking as there’s an election coming up and tough decisions that will affect all of us are going to be made. Everything’s going to change, including your comfort level. And if some of those changes don’t spark joy for you, but spark joy for millions that were decimated by COVID-19, you’ll be fine. Focus instead on the excess stuff you got rid of while tidying up. Having extra space and order in your life will make creating a new reality so much easier in the end.