We have to be where we are. There really is no point in wishing for a different, better past. Living in the present moment is a challenge at the best of times and a Pandemic on top makes it seem like mission impossible. But embark on it, embark on trying at least, we must. What are the alternatives? Those who can’t manage, or won’t even try, are the ones who see the likes of Donald Trump as their saviour, projecting their unfulfilled desires onto a man who, let’s face it, despises them, calling them losers if they get in his way, yet promises them what they want to hear. And they believe him and, as one follower put it, would crawl through broken glass for him. What has happened here? How did it come to this?
Those who are old enough to remember will recall the mantra with which we were bombarded at school. Beware the beginnings, it read. Beware the beginnings of any radicalism but whilst in those days debates were had a plenty, held at high intellectual level, no one foresaw that the age of information technology and social networking would not improve informed dialogue and debate but undermine it to a level that a lie cleverly concealed in a catchy sound bite would win every time. There seems no one left to call the bluff. There seems no one left to even want the bluff be called. The curse of populism has us in its firm grip and we are governed by liars advised by unelected and sinister figures lurking in the shadows, modern Rasputins whose agenda is to destroy and rule. And the mob cheers to it all as they project the hope for bread and games on those who promise them without a clue how to do it, and without intention to do it either. We can no longer think for ourselves and are lead like lemmings. What hope can then be had that disenfranchised and dumbed down minds can muster the wit, energy and ability to suffer and learn how to be responsible for themselves when it comes to focus on their situation in life, concentrate on personal growth, to be able to be alone with themselves without distraction from drugs, alcohol, partying and going to Ibiza once a year. No, to live in the present moment requires humility – short in supply these days – ability to endure inner pain necessary for personal growth and the ability to make do with what we have. Yet without this conscious and difficult step towards maturity, for that is what is required, liars like Trump and Johnson will be admired and idolised, for the alternative, taking responsibility, is simply too unbearable.
This is a bitter pill to swallow but no excuse for an individual willing to grow to not choose the path less travelled regardless. It is not even that every bit counts in the same way. What counts is oneself. Keep your side of the street clean. That’s all one can do. Literally. It’s all one has to do if living in the here and now has any meaning. For we have to be where we are so we might as well stare it in the face, standing straight, bear the pain involved and grow up in the process. For that’s what we are meant to do. Grow up. We need to and our children need us to grow up to if we want to counter the trend whereas people follow others rather than their own good moral compass.
Take care and good luck