There is an oft used saying that goes something along the lines of may you live in interesting times. Although usually credited to a Chinese sage, it may well have first been used in England. Regardless of its origin, it is commonly thought to be a curse. Interesting being a euphemism for difficult.
On a less mysterious level, we have the popular management training book Who Moved My Cheese? The bottom line of this theory, as illustrated by mice, is that things are always in flux, constantly changing. And if you want to cope (i.e. be a good manager) you need to accept that fact and be ready to adapt. Or as Bob Dylan put it You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changing.
I understand that we live in an ever-changing world, given the flow of water we can never stand in the same river twice, and all that stuff. But our (and by our I mean the world) situation sometimes makes me think we are living in a time not only interesting but perhaps apocalyptic. Or to put it another way, I fear we are going to hell in a handbasket.
The stars have aligned such that the world is facing a COVID19 pandemic just when global leadership is at an all-time low. There are arguably two world powers, the United States and Russia. Both are currently being run by megalomaniac morons, more concerned with their image than with the pandemic. Even if Trump and Putin get on board, the delay will have cost thousands of lives.
If the COVID19 virus could be interviewed, and it was asked about its timing, something along the lines of Why now? I am sure it would reply that the world was at its most vulnerable under these two leaders.
“It was an opportunity I just had to seize. There I was, lying dormant in China when I realized just how unprepared the world was for my arrival. Several big leaders caught up trying to outdo each other as to who is the most insane. C’mon, a virus has gotta do what a virus has gotta do.”
I still believe humankind will get through this, not because of world leadership, but in spite of it. Perhaps when we do eradicate this menace by acting together, in a cohesive safe manner, following social distancing directives and the like, we will continue to band together and remove the weak links that wield so much world power.
Mind you, as a creature of habit, and avowed home-body, I wish people would leave my cheese alone!