Lately something has been bothering me, which I find hard to put my finger on precisely. To be honest, it has been drumming around in my head for a while, several months actually, but I am struggling to find a way to put it into words. It is an almost indescribable feeling of dread (or worry) that has been gradually descending upon me. Dread is perhaps not quite the right word but it is the best I can come up with at the moment.
Oddly enough as much as I struggle to describe this feeling, I also only have a vague notion of it’s origins. It seems to be a divergent phenomenon related to the post-pandemic world in which human civilization has undergone a tectonic shift. From cooperation and unity in the face of a global calamity (a common enemy if you will) to antagonism and discord amid great uncertainty and fractiousness. It is rooted deeply in the polarization of human civilization into overly simplistic, black and white adjectives and nouns conflated with specific ideologies. Left versus right, men against women, blue opposing red, righteous versus unrighteous, Israël against Palestine, Ukraine versus Russia, and so forth. We seem to have decomposed human existence into the extremes of its components ad infinitum. There is no longer a middle ground nor room for moderation.
It has left me with this strong feeling of dread welling in my gut. As if I have woken up in a nightmarish world where everything is out of whack. Where no one is willing to listen, or to wait for the other; where no one cares about what is not in their interests or their in-group; where no one is interested in that which doesn’t agree with their viewpoint nor in being challenged. All that remains is an individualistic myopia that is engulfing the world like a tsunami. Yet no one is pannicking or ringing on the bell. Life deceptively, just goes on as if nothing is on the hand. The Earth revolves around the Sun, the tides come in and go out, day fades into night and back again, as it has been since the dawn of time. Yet I feel in the marrow of my bones as if there has been a monumental sea change. Albeit an invisible seemingly intangible one.
I even spoke about this feeling with several colleagues, acquaintances and friends this past week. Several of them acknowledged it but like me lacked the words to aptly describe it. At best what I could gather is that there is general feeling of concern about the future of our civilization. It seems less bright and more uncertain than it has been in a long time. And we all seemed collectively stumped on what to do about it. Without answers, all we are able to do is to just wait patiently and see what unfolds. Hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst. As this year draws to a close I say a silent prayer for the world. I pray that it may emerge from this season of darkness in 2024. Amen!
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