When we passionately argue about how for instance to reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 on our life it is very often about how much of our own habits and beliefs we are prepared to give in to meet our common objective. The situation can also be described as a tug of war between the extent of our toleration to measures that limit our freedom and the extent of our individual and collective participation in behaviours aimed at containing the transmission of Covid-19. It is doubtful whether there is such thing as a unique solution to any challenge we face.
As under any other circumstances, where we individually and collectively agree to draw the line in our involvement determines whether sooner or later we achieve an equilibrium conducive to a positive outcome. In our gut reactions the relative share of narrow self-interest and common good we serve vary. Different contexts trigger different overall reactions. The desired synergy to move forward depends on how effectively our responses blend. Now, how long that synergy can be sustained rests on how long a critical mass within the group or community is set to collaborate.
That collaboration cannot be created out of thin air. Arguably, instilling reasonable trust between institutions (through their heads actually) and individuals is key. Should we perceive that the effort we are putting in is being rewarded adequately, not merely in financial terms, but also in terms of recognition of our worth and our needs or ambition, most of us would certainly be inspired to actively participate in any project or adventure. That virtuous cycle is not achievable when the ladder to climb from the status of an underprivileged outsider to the status of a privileged insider seems broken, or appears to be climbable solely through devious ways.
When mutual mistrust persists and hopelessness grips us beyond a certain time, those deprived of enough capabilities in terms of skills and mental strength, those with declining living standards, are driven into a survival mode. Ultimately, those spared similar discontent and limitations end up being impacted too, even if not with the same intensity, as we are all linked to each other, one way or the other.
The real world exists in an infinite number of colours. However, when external influences are toxic it is reduced into black and white features. Today’s « reality » is increasingly shaped by artificial intelligence and algorithms. Nuances are filtered quasi-instantly. Noise of all sorts tends to distract and overwhelm us more than ever. Discerning whether this « reality » is compatible with our well-being is pivotal. The need for hindsight and coherent vision has never been more important.
Whenever blind partisanship and ideologies dictate our participation, it is very likely that we are stuck in a vicious circle. Such a setback tends to feed radical behaviour of outsiders and insiders alike. And the tipping point towards a positive outcome shall remain elusive without a leadership capable of implementing relevant strategies that nudge most of us into looking consistently in the same direction and act together accordingly.