I am writing a series of posts about our new reality: we are seeing the world through coronavirus eyes.
By Dr. Denise R. Ames
In just a few weeks’ time, our old way of life is shattering before our eyes. Our jobs, social connections, and mobile lifestyle have come to an abrupt halt. It may at first seem novel and a welcome change of pace, but the full effect of this seclusion and fear is beginning to become more apparent.
Those things that seemed important before—the latest fashion purchase, eating at a trendy new restaurant, or flying across the country to visit a new place—suddenly seem a part of a different life that existed a long time ago. Yet, it was just two weeks ago that I and four other relatives struggled to make the decision to cancel our annual get-together, this time in Savannah, Georgia. I was just beginning to see things through corona eyes, and it wasn’t fun.
Our economy is based on consumerism, and the effects of consumerism spills over into our everyday life. We are told, in mostly subtle ways, to consume products to give our life meaning and define who we are.
In November 2019, I saw this first hand as I shopped for a new car, since my 20-year-old Subaru Forester finally gave out. As I scouted out dealership lots and “kicked the tires” of new cars, I unconsciously found myself searching for the car that most precisely defined who I was. I was following the dictates of consumerism! I didn’t buy a racy, svelte sports car, or the latest luxury model, I ended up with a VW Tiguan, a reliable, comfortable, sturdy, practical car with a great extended warranty (also a dynamite moonroof). But the car reflects who I am!
Now that consumerism is on hold, or perhaps forever altered by our corona experiences, and many of our jobs have been lost, reduced, or switched to on-line, what is giving us meaning. Consumerism and career have been the big two for many years. Perhaps, many people are struggling with this drastic alteration in their psychic well-being. I know I am reassessing a few things!
Today’s reality is seeing the world through corona eyes. We are all struggling with our new way of life. Follow me in this series of posts.
The coronavirus is upending our lives and overturning our daily routines. It has appeared so suddenly into the human world that we are unsure about how to deal with it. Dealing with the coronavirus is a rapid and far-reaching change. It also affects the way we look at the world.
As I launch my book Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them for publication, I find that we are not seeing the coronavirus through one lens but continue to see it through our own particular worldview lens. Hence, I find it interesting and useful to write in a series of posts about our response to the deadly virus through the five different worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative.
To solve this health crisis, and save as many lives as possible, all the worldviews need to be recognized. They are all vital in guiding us through this most devastating crisis since World War II. I talk about a tipping point in my book that can shift us to a different worldview. The coronavirus may prove to be that tipping point. My hope is that the tip will be to the transformative worldview but the future is uncertain.
Whatever our worldview, one thing is clear, we are all in this together. I wish all of you well. Denise
About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames
Dr. Ames’ varied life experiences—scholarly research, teaching, reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, professional development trainings, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, developing globally-focused books and educational resources. She has written seven books, blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, and teaching units for the non-profit and clients.
Dr. Ames is now developing a program called Turn—transformative understanding and reflection network—that encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, shift perspectives, and understand the balance in all things. She teaches classes and writes about cross-cultural awareness, indigenous wisdom, a transformative worldview, learning from the past, a mythic journey, and transforming travel.
Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!
$14.95, 258 pgs.
Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.
It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.