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The upside down

A time for reflection

April 2020

The upside down: Bienvenue
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The upside down: Bienvenue

The disruption this pandemic has created in our modern lives is unprecedented. Economies have been shattered, businesses have closed down, and individuals have lost their jobs if not some of their closest ones.

To a different extent we are all being forced to turn our world upside down, adapt to an alternate dimension if you will. We are forced to stay in and wait safely till the curve flattens. Never before have we gotten so much time with ourselves and this creates unease at first.

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We, as humans, need to organise our lives around different rhythms, some slow, some fast. We constantly juggle between different type of activities and spaces and we need different type of social interactions.

Each of our activities is linked to a space and what was a characteristic of our modern lives was precisely to have a lot activities in dedicated spaces. Without that Spatio-temporal distinction, everything becomes linear. This linear time creates a difficulty to anticipate, to predict what is coming next, hence a feeling of being stuck in an eternal present.

Because we have become motionless, we think the time has too. But time continues to run its course: hours, days and weeks go by as before. All to say, time and space are intimately linked, we cannot separate them from each other. So what to do when we are physically constrained while time is still running? We might not feel we are moving, though we still are. The difference is instead of moving in the world, doing, we are moving inside thinking, reflecting.

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Our modern lives are hyper-mobile by nature - so rare is the time we actually got to reflect. It is a true luxury and the ones who can exercise it have a privilege. And because we are not used to it, when we have the time and space for it, it seems daunting. We might prefer to indulge in escapism and fill our time & space with more distractions.

This is truly a chance to have a deeper thought about how as a society, a company or an individual we are coping with these unique circumstances. With confidence then we can take away some learnings and apply change even after everything comes back to 'normal'.

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