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We have been so shaped to view the world through an ‘events’ lens. In which the new cycle speeds through ‘events’ before moving onto the next thing. This is a way of perceiving & interpreting the world that is driven by instant gratification and novelty. However, this is not how
the world works. ‘Events’ are really ‘processes’ that jump into our consciousness because they have been elevated by our news cycle. ‘Events’ are just the most visible and attention-grabbing part of the ‘process’. Greta Thunberg’s “How dare you!?” speech is the event but the
environment is the process. The George Floyd video and resultant protests were the event, but the process is reality of the racism faced by African-Americans. The event is like when a dolphin leaps from the water capturing out attention, but the process is the life it lives under
the waterline. What is different about COVID19 is that it collapses both event and process into one experience. There is no one moment, one video, one emblematic event to capture COVID19. The American century birthed the age of the image.
Yet COVID19 does not have an emblematic image. Rather it is represented by an ever-increasing number. Individualism is less threatened by events, because we know that they pass quickly, and we can move on with our life project. However, processes are different beasts entirely
The process subsumes us in an entirely different way. It is profoundly more disruptive. It forces us to work around its constraints or to meet it with denial. It is really hard to truly understand the effects of something until it has passed, and we have seen its whole maturation
Despite the fatigue felt around COVID19 it is important to remember that we are only a few months into this process. Its lasting and most consequential effects are yet to be truly grasped. i.e.…
If there is a lesson in all of this. It is that any successful strategy in life, must understand that we live in processes. Instead of reactively bouncing off of events, then moving on, the virus is teaching us a different, more humble, patient way of interacting with the world.
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