A Different Reality in the Same World
Recently, we all have come to face a new reality. The things we once considered indispensable suddenly appear to matter quite little. What started to matter more was what we had undervalued in our recent chase for a better tomorrow. Bizarrely enough, when at home, we needed more peace and space for ourselves. We didn’t need to go to the nearest café to enjoy some coffee, or to do the shopping in a supermarket.
It appeared that the coffee we had at home tasted just fine. The most important thing was just to have it. We didn’t have to drive across the entire city to meet up with a client because the client preferred an online meeting. And the world came to a halt… We started analysing our behaviour, our frequent consumerist habits – “I want it all, I want it now”, without empathy because “I” am the centre of the universe. And then it appeared we didn’t want to live like that any longer. We want to help others feel needed. We don’t need to rush because a lot can be done remotely. We don’t have to travel far – the local can be just as beautiful. Will this change for ever? Is this what our new reality will be like?
It is extremely difficult to tell what the new reality will look like but the pandemic will certainly leave its mark. We need to prepare for a new virtual reality – affecting both the personal and the professional aspects of our life. Most of us will keep on working remotely as it will be less costly for our employers. The progressing automation will force cost cutting and cause people to be replaced with machines and bots. All sorts of products and services will only be a few clicks away, which will make them more available. We’ll be able to handle many different things remotely because we’ll be used to it. We’ll start appreciating what we have more and worry less about what we don’t have as health is more valuable than anything else. Empathy, collaboration, and mutual aid will become highly regarded values once again. Life will become less hectic… But will we still be able to communicate with each other in this separation? And this can be the negative aspect of the pandemic. We may go from one extreme to another. But let’s hope we don’t.
The text is part of the publication "The New Normal. Reality in the times of the global Covid-19 pandemic. A commentary by the faculty of Kozminski University".