Posts Tagged ‘society’

This is probably the most unusual and spectacular rainbow I’ve ever experienced. I took this photo (and a whole batch of others) when this rainbow appeared at the top of the hill over the vineyards a few years back.

I’ve never seen this phenomenon before, nor since. What makes it so special is how the whole world under the rainbow is a different colour, a different intensity of light, from the rest of the world. It really seemed that the rainbow was revealing another world. A world within our world, a world shining through our world to reveal itself.

I’ve thought about this several times since, and every time I go back and look at these images again.

Normally when I see a rainbow, it looks just like a band, or an arc, painted onto the sky. But this rainbow seemed to be a whole three dimensional phenomenon. It really seemed as if I was being shown a different world below the bands of colour. A world which seemed brighter, more vivid, and so, more real than the “normal” world.

That colour reminds me a bit of something I’ve seen in some movies where they use that sort of colouration to tell you that you are watching a flashback.

So I felt that I was witnessing something which was a shift in both time and place…….a glitch in the space-time continuum.

No wonder it felt special!

When I look at it again today I am struck, yet again, by the sense of glimpsing “another world”, and that’s a phrase I’ve come across many times during this pandemic. How many of us are saying the way we’ve been living, the way we’ve been organising our societies and economies, is exactly what has brought us to where we are – turned upside down by wave after wave of this tiny little virus. So, if we want to do more than survive this, if we want to emerge from this experience having learned a whole bunch of lessons, then maybe we are well placed to create “another world” – a different world which would be healthier, more resilient, more robust, more able to adapt and grow.

So, when I thought about that I realised that when I’ve been trying to imagine what that world of “after” could look like, I realise now that I’ve been thinking of what doesn’t exist. That’s all very well, but very utopian, and maybe, frankly, unachievable. But what this rainbow experience reveals to me is not another world which doesn’t exist, but another world which DOES exist.

Bear with me here……here’s some of the things I’ve noticed during this pandemic. Poorly paid, undervalued workers in our societies have become the evident “heroes”, have become “essential workers” who keep society alive. They haven’t changed what they do. In many ways they have been the invisible workers……the health carers, teachers, shop assistants, drivers, cleaners…..the list goes on. Our societies have tended to laud and promote “celebrities”, rich people, and certain high profile politicians. It turns out that maybe we had our priorities upside down. Maybe we should be celebrating, valuing, supporting and rewarding the thousands and thousands of “ordinary” workers who keep us all alive more than those whose greatest skills seem to be self-promotion and greed.

We’ve suffered from over a decade of “austerity” economics, of neoliberal economics which have promoted ideas such as the need for governments to “balance the budget”, of “trickle down ecomomics” (to encourage greed because as the rich get richer then their largesse will gradually trickle down to the poor), of “Homo economicus” (the model of human behaviour based on self-interest and rational choice), of the “wisdom of the market” and the pernicious nature of “big government”. But suddenly, the “magic money tree” has been found and governments have found the ability and the desire to spend trillions to keep society going and to fight the pandemic.

Do you see what I mean? I could go on and give other examples, but maybe this post would turn into a book!

Because what we’ve also seen is people coming together to support each other. People celebrating caring over competition. Scientists and governments co-operating at speeds never seen before to progress our understanding of the virus and develop new tools.

Not only is “another world possible” but that other world already exists. It’s just that we’ve been feeding the wrong “hungry wolf”. See – http://moritherapy.org/article/the-story-of-the-two-hungry-wolves/

So, if the rainbow is a symbol of hope, here’s my hope – that we work together to put our energies and resources into creating a better, more caring, more co-operative, healthy world. It’s not just possible. It’s already there, just waiting for us to step forward and start living in it.

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