Smartphone in one hand; Starbucks in the other.
The same news is everywhere.
Most of us borrowed money from the same 5 banks.
Go to the same 5 supermarkets.
Buy the same 100 brands owned by the same 5 conglomerates.
We order everything else from Amazon.
Our communication network comes from the same 5 carriers.
We get the same vaccines and the same drugs from the same big 5 pharma companies.
We get the same education from the same compulsory school system teaching us the same subjects.
When I drove from Montreal to L.A., I saw the same 5 gas stations and the same 5 fast food chains every time I stopped.
Today, everywhere I look, I see small businesses struggling (some are shutting down) while most big businesses are thriving.
As I sit back and try to make sense of where this post-covid world will go, I must first acknowledge that most people sees these mainstream services as a way to make their lives easier and arguably; more enjoyable.
But to really get a grasp of where this trend is taking us, I needed to dig a little deeper.
Back in the days, Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner performed a series of tests on rats to see if he could introduce new behaviors and alter the rat’s natural conditioning.
In short, Skinner realized that punishing the rat for disobedience did not remove the undesirable behaviors on the long run; instead, he confirmed that it’s a lot easier to use positive reinforcement to get to the long-term desired behavior.
In so many words, this experiment explained how humans can easily enjoy their own enslavement if they are provided with positive reinforcement, pleasures, and comfort.
What this means in today’s reality: the organizations in power can offer us convenient products and services, normalize them through various marketing channels and even glamorize them through the entertainment industry. In return, we, the people, will never feel forced to adopt these products and services; we will want to adopt them.
If you add fear in the mix, the same process can be used when they want to introduce new rules.
“It’s OK everyone; stay home, stay safe, take this temporary income, stay comfortable, wait for a vaccine and use the easiest options available.”
To me, this is called existing, not living.
Our Local Businesses
When I saw the Business Insider piece showing how the rich got richer and how the poor got poorer in the last few months, I was a bit baffled but it was to be expected if you understand the long-term desired outcome. As a point of reference, the orange line is the unemployment rate and the yellow line is Jeff Bezos’ net worth during the same time.
How did the government give more aid and less restrictions to big corporations VS small businesses when they were both selling the same thing?
I’m highlighting this question as a reminder that if there is another lock-down, it may create irreparable damage to our local, small, and medium businesses.
You know; that family-owned panini shop that carefully picks their ingredients from a local farm and wants to offer the best quality even if it lowers their profit margins? You know; the small event company that helps to create a fun environment for a product launch or a wedding? You know; that old record store that sells items that you will never find anywhere else?
These are just a fraction of local store examples that are disappearing from the neighborhood.
Personally, I don’t want to see a future where everything is sold online by 5 companies with no human interaction and I certainly don’t want to see a future where everyone is waiting in line, mask on, looking at their phone, 6 feet apart from each other like robots, covi-pass in hand for proof of vaccination, waiting to pay for their groceries.
Again, this is existing, not living.
Add transhumanism to the mix and you can forget about existing.
Kids Must Shine
I see everyone around me wearing masks and we can argue forever whether this measure is appropriate or not considering the low mortality rate and how the back of the box says: “this mask does not protect against infectious disease”, so I’ll leave this debate for when you see me face to face.
My point in this article is that wearing a mask strips us from our individuality, our facial expressions, our natural reactions, and it creates massive division. Especially when store owners now need to play police with their clients. Have you noticed how your social interactions have changed recently?
Did you know that they’ve introduced regulations for schools to have children wear masks all day and sit in a box? Imagine the psychological effect this will create when kids cannot see how they react to various things and how they react to one another. You can’t even tell if they’re sad or if they need help. How can a child express their individuality and their shine when they’re boxed in, far from their classmates and wearing a mask?
Important note: this is not something that’s happening far far away, this is something that’s happening right here and all over the world.
In the East:
In the US:
These measures offer a perception that humans are dangerous, therefore, more division between us. The more we are divided, the easier it is to manufacture fear and chaos between us.
On the flip-side, everyone is encouraged to use their smartphone, video games and other technologies like the trace-app to snitch on one another like rats (actually, Skinner’s test rats probably got a better result on compassion and empathy on this front).
What does this mean?
Humans and individuality: bad.
Please remember this: the authorities in power across the globe mentioned that these measures are likely here to stay even after everyone gets vaccinated (and according to Bill Gates, it seems like we’ll need multiple doses of this thing).
Think about that for a second.
Again, we’ll barely be existing and certainly won’t be living.
Creating an environment that embraces individuality
At Sofdesk, one of our core values is we want people to be themselves and fully embrace their uniqueness. I’ve been pushing this for quite some time; understanding how important it is for people to have a work environment that enables them to become the best version of themselves.
To me, this starts with freedom, the understanding of human behavior, accepting one another and the push to look inward.
With the combination of our values and a product that is helping small and medium businesses, we’re happy to report that so far, we had no layoffs and we had many new employees joining the ride during this crisis.
In my life, I’ve worked many different jobs that treated me like a number, and I remember HATING IT.
If I am to spend 8 hours a day doing something, I can’t be in an environment that suppresses my individuality in the name of what these ex-employers would call “the greater good”. I knew that most of us were replaceable and my ex-boss couldn’t give a damn about our individuality and what he would claim to be “the greater good” (for him, the greater good was more money, more material objects, more control and more power).
Nietzsche’s Herd Morality VS The Higher Human
Friedrich Nietzsche’s herd morality can be defined as a common war on all that is rare, strange and unique. It is a war against the higher human, the higher soul, the higher responsibility and the abundance of creativity. In other words, the herd’s fear of losing their comfort helps to destroy the higher human and its individuality, even if the higher human’s intention is to uplift the herd.
As we’re seeing more and more regulations put in place that are likely here to stay, one can argue that the herd’s acquiescence to these regulations will suppress current and future generations from seeking individual greatness in the name of what the powers in place are calling “the greater good”.
Whether it be in your business life or in your personal life; isn’t seeking our greatest inner potential one of the greatest quests of all?
The difference depicted by Nietzsche here is that the herd will exist within the confines of a society and during a social crisis, will not express a different opinion by fear of being judged; while the “higher human” will seek to fulfill his mission regardless of what the herd has to say.
When you really speak from the heart, you may lose some friends; but in return, you will gain new ones; the ones that belong in your life. Why do we spend our lives trying to please our entourage when our heart knows that we’re just saying things to please the herd or avoid conflict?
I see the places where we usually express ourselves disappearing from the map or becoming extremely restrictive (like bars, restaurants, sports events, business events, social gatherings etc.…) and I believe that this needs to be looked at with a microscope and called out. There are too many inconsistencies between who’s allowed and what’s allowed VS who’s not allowed and what’s not allowed.
Some can exist, some can live.
But like Martin Luther King Jr. said: an injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.
As this pandemic keeps pushing itself further and further into our daily lives, it is becoming incrementally clear that one of the main things I’ve been fighting for since I started my entrepreneurial journey is in jeopardy: which is Finding Our Shine – the theme behind most of my presentations.
In my life, I've spent a lot of time sharing tricks on how to embrace yourself and how to find that one thing that makes you special VS the rest.
Today, when I’m looking at what’s unfolding in front of my eyes, it hurts. A lot.
Regardless if you’re with the mainstream narrative or against it, no one can deny that this situation is consolidating the powers at the top while destroying the majority of the population. It deeply damages small businesses, local businesses, it's hurting our union while destroying the natural way we and our children interact with one another.
Even if we all shine differently, we must remember that we’re all one consciousness having a different experience.
Regardless if you’re down with vaccines or not, the fact is: different people will have different reactions to vaccines; we’re all living a different experience. You saw it in the clinical trials. - So wait, if someone is obligated to show proof of vaccination to travel, buy food or go to work, but has a fatal reaction to the injection and the vaccine manufacturer can't be liable because of the 1986 act; we're suppose to just accept it?
Folks, we’re not all the same but we can all access the same consciousness.
Our individuality is at stake, the next generation’s shine is at stake and so is our local businesses.
You can do whatever you want about your new reality, it is your right to stay neutral or to speak up.
Just know that sometimes, the inner call is bigger than anything you’ve ever experienced.
It may become your special calling.
All humans are special and should be treated as such.
If you have an inner call, pay attention to it, it’s your individuality asking you to show up.
I’m talking about the inner call that comes from the heart, not from the mind.
I’m talking about the inner call that comes out of love, not out of fear.
Listen to it.
We may reach a world where freedom reigns, where we all belong, and where we can all shine collectively.
A world where we can stop existing and start living.