The Winter Of Our Discontent

“Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun [or son] of York”. ~Shakespeare from Richard III

John Steinback’s “The Winter of our Discontent” is a story about moral crisis. It’s fitting to make a parallel here that then that we, as individuals in a grand scheme here in the US are, leaving a true winter of discontent into a spring of hope.

I had to stop reading the news recently. Not because I didn’t want to- it was filled with opinion & pointless un-facts, if that’s even a word. There is an alternate universe that poses right beside us at all times that if you do not agree with someone you must then find facts that support your opinion and share them relentlessly. The demigods of Blather, in a unabating pursuit of righteousness & narcissism have won on both sides of the aisle. However, I know goodness still exists. Goodness amidst our collective mental unwellness.

Recently, I have become obsessed with Clubhouse, an audio-only app that promotes conversation and connects you with people around the world. This simple idea (people speaking to people) is an enormous hit because it removes the nonsense from a social post, it removes the “look at me” 6 second nonsense of tiktok (although that is addictive & I admit entertaining) and connects you with people from all walks of life on topics you are passionate about. It’s in Beta, meaning it’s just released and is invite only but currently there are 10 million people on the app and a bunch of Clubhouse celebrities emerging. Time is finite on it- but people are spending all day in rooms.

The reason why its so successful is because it truly unlocks the seratonin as your heart beats a little faster to go “on stage”. The acknowledgment from your peers as you engage unlocks self esteem & the support you get from new follows on your social is actually meaningful. What I am saying is that you are posting to people that truly connect with your work or ideals. Real Time.

Would Clubhouse be so successful if we weren’t in semi-worldwide lockdown? If there wasn’t a silent mental health epidemic happening on every part of the planet? Where touch is now forbidden? Or if here in the US, would it be so popular in the best of times when we weren’t flying flags of a demigod & burning the truth for the sake of politics?

This past winter, now almost over, was filled with a morbid curiosity unprecedented in my lifetime. We challenged ourselves to find unthinkable un-truths, fought with each other in a silent civil war, ruined industries with feigned leadership, destroyed dreams without planning and sold books about how we forged a strong path forward while people died. 

Leadership matters. If we can’t believe our leaders than what do we stand for as one people?

While we enter a “Spring of Hope” removing the memory of the winter of discontent, let’s remember what we learned in this cold, icy place. We’ve learned that our educational foundation using books & educators in classrooms needs to be updated to utilize Educational Tech (EdTech) that engages students of all ages, all backgrounds and abilities. On that same note, we know that students need the live classroom to develop & hurt their self esteem. (I put both of those in there because they both go together for growth). School is a microcosm of society with clicks, chicks, dudes and drama. Just like real life, lets get back to it. 

Second, politics aside, leaders of both aisles will have to wrestle with the fact that people are starting to hate capitalism and the free market. I am a strong proponent of working your craft & letting the “market” determine your success just the same as I acknowledge Darwinism. It’s namely the Gen Z crowd growing up that will have a huge say in policy here out. All the Millenials and Gen Z have seen in the past 10 years (in their opinion on opportunity) is a huge heaping pile of burning economic garbage and they will be left cleaning it up. In that heap of burning tires lies true progress, but they can’t see it because they don’t understand life as previous generations see it. Nor were some (most?) of the kids taught about how you need to “work your way up”. 

I see a pile of garbage, I sift through it to find the gold & fix pain. They see it as broken & unkept & “unfair”.

If there is anything this past year has taught me, it’s that the most precious resource, your family, is fragile. Our mental health is fragile. Touch is a human need. 

We take our way of life for granted. Bread is stocked magically in the aisle and when we need to wipe our bums, toilet paper is there. When it’s taken away, we have a moment of consciousness that all our soccer practice-straight-A-savings-account-weight-loss-sitcom-watching-tik-tok-facebook-fake-outrage world is set ablaze. 

Nothing in life matters without who you love and who loves you.

Take a second, look around. If you don’t have someone near you and you are upset about it, feel lost or feel like hurting yourself there is hope. You can also call 1-800-273-TALK or comment on this post.

Hope is around the corner. The roaring 20’s are coming. Hang. In. There.

Find Me @danielpowersjr on Clubhouse

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