Note: The Coronavirus is the most large-scale tragedy I have lived through, hence the amount of times I have written about how I am coping during the past six months.
As it has been mentioned in stride with this pandemic, we have lost the stability of having a regular routine to approach. But, as a student with school opening pending, my older sister moving out and uncertainty looming, it has become a priority of mine to seek level ground.
Stability is defined by the Miriam Webster Dictionary as: “the quality, state, or degree of being stable.” Innate human nature tends to normalize stability and, as a result, we tend to avoid situations where anything “abnormal” occurs. This is where we tend to avoid and fear change, as it is something we are neither used to nor what we want. And one of the things that I think has made the pandemic so hard is the fact that we are not in control of the changes that occur. At least for me, having believed that those in positions of hierarchical power could use their influence to prevent such catastrophes, realization struck me.
I realized that no matter how much materialistic power you hold, no matter how much action and how many presentation measures you take, you most likely cannot shield the world from a catastrophe. Currently, we can look to climate change as an example. Regulation of the global climate is no on-off switch. So no matter how many world leaders take action at this very moment, we will not ensure that tomorrow will not hold rising sea levels, record-breaking temperatures, ravaging wildfires and global habitat destruction. Our actions can only come to some avail in the distant future, which makes actionable items on the climate change front so unappealing to some; the idea that our work will not product tangible results instantaneously.
In relation to stability, climate change has been ignored for so long, wearing down its stability. It is likely that more timely action would have made the current situation less volatile and unpredictable. Hence, we see situations without stability being ignored. But is there any way to maintain stability without suffering consequences?
In my opinion, no. British political theory author Edmund Burke stated during the time of the American Revolution that he believed in successive change, in that (in relation to government), every government had built upon and succeeded the previous. He believed that progress was always to be made, but only by seeing society as “less than perfect”. And I very much agree with Mr. Burke. See, if we present ourselves with our current state and define it as perfect in every way, where can progress be made? If we remain satisfied, or fail to speak when we are not, how can we progress towards a society that works for a far greater population? Change must be made, it is inevitable. To create a better society involves actionable and visible differences. And with this, stability is lost.
But we must question our human nature and ability to get so comfortable in situations in the first place. And the more we work to challenge ourselves and normalize change as it is, we can reduce the fear and stigma associated with unfamiliar scenarios. After all, stability cannot last forever. Change is bound to occur, and no one in this world – regardless of power – can stop this. So instead of trying to flee from its possible consequences, we can use this pandemic as an opportunity to see the good that comes with progress. Although progress for progresses sake cannot likely be permitted, progress to strengthen and revaluate our current circumstances should be welcomed.
Stability is like welcoming for those it knows to welcome, while progress works to change the norm so more people can feel welcome. And sometimes, we just need change.