2020 AD has arguably been the worst year since the end of WWII, a collective international struggle fought on many fronts. On one end, we have the emergence of COVID-19, a virus which, although mild to most, has killed many thousands of elderly and vulnerable people worldwide. Perhaps worse than that, has been the impact of world governments reactions to said virus and their impact on civil liberties, commerce and public wellbeing. On the other, we have the ever-rising social tensions which threaten the fabric of society itself; Red vs Blue, Brexiteer vs Remainer, Liberal vs Conservative. All aforementioned factors provide a dire picture of the level of issues we as individuals have had to endure this year. Suicide figures have risen, mental health is at an all-time low, unemployment rates soar and economies tinker along the precipice of destruction. It seems all one can do is pray for a better run in the coming year — but is this truly our only hope? Must we rely solely on grace and providence ?
It is my opinion that this is far from the truth . So much of the stress and pressure we have endured thus far has been the result, not of first hand contact with a deadly virus , nor from the sight of streets littered with bodies, but has been directly caused by the fear-pushing agenda of the MSM (mainstream media). So much of the time we have spent in states of rage at the opinions of our fellow neighbours has not been time spent face to face in debate, but screaming at our televisions and screens. We have been victim to the worst year of ferocious, incessant, media programming to date.
‘Live in fear’
‘Here’s why the other side are wrong and why they should be silenced’
‘Mob mentality is ok and supported’
All mentioned has been the result of a concerted effort to keep the people in a state of perpetual fear and division. The tendency to “divide and conquer” has never been so overtly manifest in peace-time. An easy and effective means to ensure 2021 is a better year: turn off your TV. Disengage from the toxic media programming and you will assuredly have increased inner peace and tranquillity. Yes, engage in debate, yes be up to speed on the most important issues in our time, yes seek knowledge, but learn to discern between those outlets which are reliable and those which have vested interest in keeping you in a state of fear and disturbance. Seek primary sources, instead of secondary interpretations subject to manipulation and deceit, listen to professionals who are unbiased and credible thinkers on a given topic not those in the pocket of big business who do not see propagation of the truth as a worthwhile end.
Another thing to realise, is your innate connection to your neighbour not your superficial differences. Neglect to acknowledge this and society will be ripped apart from within, we must seek to recognise the commonality we share, for the threads which tie us together are far longer, far more meaningful, than the rifts which push us apart. A house divided cannot stand. Look beyond political inclinations, religious differences, race, and all other classifications which stand subordinate to that one true class. Mankind. With all its universally shared experiences, elations, depressions, grievances and toils, we would do well, to see in the eyes of our neighbour, not an ‘other’, not an opposition, but a reflection of ourselves. Commonality and kinship, that is humanity. We would do well to acknowledge that.
Finally, in anticipation of another arduous year, I know I will be seeking to further establish my connection with Deity, through the stillness of nature, and the silence of meditation. It is far too easy to succumb to the disturbance of this world and its troubles, far too easy to be overcome by the stresses of our time. I know, for myself at least, that to step back from these Earthly pressures and into the ceaseless peace of the non-human world, is a most necessary endeavour. These small retreats remind me of my innate connection to the macrocosm and the peace, order and stillness therein; armed with such knowledge, I am thereby provided with a model which I can seek to emulate in life and my endeavours.
I wish you all the best for the year ahead.