Have we reached a social tipping point? As a result of the coronavirus, will fundamental change sweep through our nation and way of life? Join me as I write a 7 part series about a tipping point!
By Dr. Denise R. Ames
In just a short time, we are seeing our old way of life shattering before our eyes. Our jobs, social connections, business, and mobile lifestyle have come to an abrupt halt. It may have seemed novel at first, a welcome change of pace from our hectic, fuel-injected way of life, but the full effects of this seclusion and fear is becoming more apparent. We are not accustomed to this different way of life.
To many of us, 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, before the corona virus. Now time is measured before the corona virus and after. After, is what I am reflecting on in this blog series.
Although we are justifiably concerned at the moment with details, such as the number of masks available for each hospital or the number of ventilators available in each state, I would like to step back a moment to speculate on what this deadly disease can possibly mean to us individually and our global society at large. If the virus continues for the next year and into 2021, as is projected in some scenarios, its ramifications may be beyond what we expect.
As a world historian, I am intrigued by change over time. I ask the question why do societies change from one way of life to another. What sparks this change? Perhaps one answer is to create a “better” way of life, but that is probably a stock answer from our particular worldview. I believe that now is the time for world historians to offer their plausible assessments, based on events of the past, on what may, I stress may, happen. Could the coronavirus spark us to change our way of life, in ways we never anticipated?
Part 2 of this 7-part series continues on Friday, August 10.
About the Author
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.
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