I recently joined another vaccination-antivaccine-debate and realized, that there is a much more problematic dynamic at play here.
In March 2020 when the lockdowns started, a lot of people had high hopes, that we (as a society, as well as as individuals) will use that opportunity to rethink the way we live and do things. That we would reflect on what is really important in life, and question our push to unlimited growth, to higher, bigger, faster.
And even though the process was initiated with some, it was soon hijacked by the soon to come “salvation” that would allow us to go back to “normal” to ignore all the warning signs that what we’re doing, how we treat both fellow human beings as well as all the other beings that are all connected to us is actually doing all of us harm.
So it seems, on the surface, we’re debating about vaccine or no vaccine, about how much each one cares about their neighbours or how egoistical or anti-social same people are. But that’s just the rational cover of a very emotional debate that has a lot of layers. Some already obvious to a lot, like the question of where personal freedom ends and social responsibility begins. Some not so clearly visible.
One of these is the bigger question of what we might be ignoring in that whole debate. We need the vaccines to go back to normal and not overflow the ICU. Nobody questions reflecting or even changing our habits. They are set in stone. We still want to travel long distances. We want to be part of huge events we want to party with a bunch of strangers. But which of those are really truly necessary for our well-being?
Meeting, hugging and touching people we feel close to is a basic human need. But do we have to do it with everybody? Going back to work to keep the economy going looks like it’s a basic need too. But what about unconditional basic income instead?
What if we gave the money to the individuals instead of the companies, and see what that might change in the whole economic ecosystem?
I’m not saying, that those is THE Solution, because I don’t know enough about the numbers and how it is all connected. I’m simply offering one of the probably multitude of alternative solutions we might just as well consider.
And I know, that something has to be done right away, and some of the solutions will take time to implement. I’m simply saying: Hey, we saw that there’s an open wound. And we first stopped the blood flow and prepared a band aid.
But we never checked to see if there is something in the wound. Or if there’s a broken bone that might need to be mended. Or dirt that got in. Or if the bleeding comes from something different, like thin blood?
Of course we need to make sure not to have everything escalate. But as soon as we put the band aid on, we might be very tempted to ignore the deeper problem. Until the next time it starts acting up again.
How can we find a solution that digs deeper into creating a resilient culture and society, where the domino effect can be stopped by simply removing one or to stones in the way. Where we build heavier dominos, or put them further apart. Or lay them to the side so that they don’t tip so easily. I know, that we as humans are immensely intelligent und creative. We simply need to sit down and actually work on creative, new, long-term sustainable (and humane) solutions, instead of running from one vaccine band aid to the next.
What to do?
I am aware of how scary the situation is for all of us involved. But fear has rarely helped me find a good solution. It has however been a great canary (in a coal mine). A great pointer towards something not working.
So I’m suggesting to stop bullying, stop fighting, stop judging and stop hating, and use all of that energy to find new solutions for us as a society, for us as a species.
I have experienced too many times, how a decision process in a group, where actual consens was aimed for and found, everyone needed to truly listen at the needs, concerns and observations of everyone involved. And even if it took a lot longer to find a solution, it was one that was uniting, richer, more sustainable, and supported by everyone.
How would a world look like, where we find solutions together? How much more enriching, with more creative solutions might we end up?
I know that I am writing this from a place of privilege, not immediately dependent on a specific job, not affected by either covid, long covid or vaccine side-effects.
Simply resistant to give into fear-mongering from either side.
A nice example for consensus decision-making and listening to all sides: Veronica Mars, Season 2 Episode 10: One Angry Veronica. 😉
And if you feel like you’re stuck, only seeing two options, contact me. I might have some pointers 😉