I have plenty of time to read yard signs as I pass them by on my runs. Hell, at my pace I even have time to think about them and develop thoughts surrounding them – and of course I can process them in the remainder of the run and beyond. Such is the case with the sign seen yesterday:
“Do we really want a return to NORMAL? Isn’t it time to build something BETTER?”
In this era of COVID there is this burning desire to return back to “normal,” to reset the calendar back to late 2019 or early 2020. Of course, in our reminiscing we have totally forgotten the issues that existed back then in our “normal” lives. That is, nostalgia has kicked. I have always loved the definition of “nostalgia” in a column written by Mary Schmich and made more widely known by Baz Luhrmann in the “Sunscreen Song” – nostalgia is “a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
Like it or not (I vote for the “not” here) what the past six months have made clear (if we choose to see it) is that there was plenty of opportunity for improvement in our pre-pandemic “normal.” Plenty. Which takes us back to the sign.
Unless we seize that opportunity here and “build something better” we become one of the “most people” walking away from Socrates’ “common heap.”
“If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.” Socrates