It’s almost the 1st of the month and half the world’s at home with no way to pay their bills. Meanwhile, governments everywhere are racing to try to figure out massive, complex plans with huge implications and tons of unknowns.
Oh yeah, and they have less than a week to plan and implement them.
Most people are starting to realize that, even if governments approve and finance and build programs for us, and even if they manage to somehow set up their infrastructure so that we can somehow ‘apply’ to them, the fact is, most of those systems won’t be able to process the volume of citizens required before the end of the month.
With that being the case, maybe no one knows how yet, but there absolutely will have to be some kind of mechanism for late bills etc. It’s a mathematical fact that some of us in some places won’t even get access to a government, utility, bank, or credit card phone line or website in the allotted time.
It’s easy to ‘time out’ a website, or to wait five hours on hold just to get cut off at the end-of-business in another time zone. This will happen to far too many of us, so some solution will be found. In crippled economy it does no bank or government any good to further cripple people’s ability to get it going again.
In the end, in a crisis, every kind of government is the practical kind. So that stuff will work it’s way out as long as we’re remain earnest and honest. But let’s not squander this strange, albeit undesirable, opportunity.
It’s worthwhile to note that what we’re all concerned about is ‘The 1st of the Month.’ Phrases about ‘due dates’ and ‘deadlines’ and ‘limits’ are all the rage in discussions everywhere. And it does help society when we normally honour those kinds of ideas in an effective, fluid, cooperative group.
That said, despite the value of those previous concepts, in a crisis we must remember that we can always flex our realities with our imaginations. That’s how we built our previous reality. We imagined it and then built it.
We can do that now, again. We’re just doing it a little abruptly. But humans have a good history of leaving the world better off after a disaster.
In the meantime, for the next few days, many of us will fumble or scream or bawl our way to the end of the month along with millions of others. But no matter what our path through the next few weeks looks like, no one dies on a deadline.
Constructs like ‘dates’ or ‘times’ are only ideas. Humans lived a long time before Julius Caesar carved himself out the idea that we call ‘July.’ So nothing physically strikes us on the ‘1st of the month.’
When we are frightened by ‘The 1st of the month,’ what we are really frighted by is our own speculative thoughts about what might happen. But no one knows what will happen. Not one person on Earth. So the fact is, for many of us, we are unlikely to have satisfactory answers before the end of this month.
The potential gain for us in this terrible experience is that we can take this opportunity to become more conscious about our psychological journey through the ‘border’ of ‘The 1st of the Month.’
By paying attention to our approach and transition, we can prove to ourselves that we really can traverse even the most unknown, insanely threatening moments by simply remaining aware that those are all still just psychological experiences within our minds.
As terrified or angry or sad or worried we may be over the next while, we all will still be where we are. And on the ‘2nd of the month’ everyone will wake up and we’ll just put one foot in front of the other. The quality of our ‘days’ will depend entirely on the psychological experiences we have in those now-moments.
What is happening now may change what we had imagined our future would be, but it does not limit our ability to experience a meaningful and rewarding one. We may even find that we like our replacement reality better.
As we walk forward, through the confusion both before and after these experiences, we will cry and we will laugh. We will feel weak and we will feel strong. We will be in need, and we will be needed. And just like before all of this, all of our treasured human emotions, and myriads of reasons to incite them, will return to us in our new context.
None of us is alone in our struggle with these experiences. No matter how foreign it may feel at first, we all have no choice but to step toward our changed, new world. But it is important to remember that, as we do, we will all be coming together as foreigners in that unknown future.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.