We all learned about the Age of Enlightenment at some point in our education, maybe even more than once. Philosophers and scientists alike made discoveries that uprooted what people knew to be true at the time. None of us were around during the 17th or 18th centuries, but I bet some serious discomfort came along with those exciting discoveries.
Change can be scary and uncomfortable, but fear and a little bit of apprehension aren’t reasons not to grow.
It was about two years ago today when our world hit the global pause button. The breakout of a virus shut governments down, upended economies and changed all our lives. We’ve all been enlightened about a variety of things since then. Being forced to take a break from the hustle and bustle opened our eyes to a lot of things we’d been ignoring.
There is still some residual discomfort from that initial pause. It led to difficult conversations, isolation and self-reflection. It feels like in most ways our lives are finally back to normal, but we aren’t the same people as we were in March 2020. I don’t mean that in an obviously literal sense either. Our world is different, our humanity is different. The rule book has changed.
Imagine if after Isaac Newton discovered gravity in the 1680s everyone decided that was just too much to comprehend. Nobody cared to investigate his findings any further. They said something like, “well this complicates what we thought we knew, so let’s just pretend it didn’t happen. ” No Neil Armstrong landing on the moon 300 years later if that was the consensus.
It feels like we’re in a similar spot to those people who accepted gravity. In 1687 they literally learned the “world was heavy.” In the 2020s we’re all learning that it’s figuratively heavy too. Of course, we’ve always been aware of tragedy and sadness in our world, but that click of the pause button made a unique shift.
We can’t rewrite history. There’s no turning back and blocking the pause from happening. But we can dictate how we continue moving forward.
We’ve been collectively enlightened, let’s make sure it wasn’t for nothing.