I haven’t mentioned anything about a situation with R in the past 24 hours because I needed to reflect. After venting the issue to 2 school friends, in vague terms I feel more settled to address it in my blog today. It seems that R, and I are growing in separate ways.
The pandemic has been an opportunity to refocus my efforts on my health, and self-growth. This process has been exponential since my return to school, and during my binge listening of Brene Brown’s, “Unlocking us”, podcast. I updated my views on social justice, feminism, and the evolution of the world in dramatic ways. I now fully embrace my feminism, and continue to avoid racism. I’m aware of my privileges, and prejudices.
Mentalities are evolving at a faster rate than ever before in human history. Issues get addressed in mear months compared to years of debats. Through the power of social medias, ideas circle the globe multiple times an hour, and consensus is achieved at incredible rates. Regardless of our age, beliefs, or lifestyle, we now have the responsibility to stay aware of key societal topics. Regular televised news, or news papers are utterly insufficient to stay at par with the new generations entering our economy, and politics. Playing the ostrich is no longer an option. In the era of global technology, ignoring problems is a lost luxury. Taking refuge in the comfort of our uninformed opinions is a costly mistake. At this point, if you can access the internet, and you don’t use it to educate yourself, ignorance is your choice.
As we get propelled into the knowledge economy, unless we cultivate a curious, and open mind, we become almost instantly obsolete. With that being said, I try to convey to my friends the urgency of staying up to day with our fast changing world. R use to be an inspiring friend with whom I’ve learned so much, and got fabulous inspiration. His wife B did tell me he had changed during the first lockdown, she found him more depressed. When I eventually saw him again, I did notice the negativity that started clouding his usual joyfulness. It’s not easy to be a mature wealthy white male in North-America lately if you haven’t followed the wind of change.
Unlike previous times where technological advancement moved at the pace of generations, with AI, we exponentially advance. The speed to which we need to adapt has gone from the frog in water slowly coming to a boil, to burned in a flash. There’s little room for stubbornness; you ether keep up with the currents or sink into oblivion. The problem is that many people have already sunk, and have become invisible to the active population. No matter how important retirees feel with their savings, hyperinflation will gulp down this wealth in a blink of an eye. The laws of nature seem unforgiving, but the laws of computerization are unforgiving. Complacency is your worst enemy. Adaptation is your best refuge for security.
Where am I going with all this? Well, R has become lost in his own self-perceived sense of forward thinking. What used to be original views back in 2018 are now reliques of the past. Yes, of course my perception of him has changed as I embraced new ideals, still, his mind is hardening. Where curiosity, and openess once laid, now judgment, and closeness reign. B’s observations were accurate, since R found his mental-health balance by interacting with others, the successive lockdowns has darkened his spirit.
Susceptibility has gotten the best of him. A simple attempt to introduce the notion of women’s second shift, spiraled out of proportion as he interpreted it as criticism of his quality as a husband rather than an invitation to be more applied to house chores. I also talked about some aspects of women’s emotional labor which flew right over his head. Now, he has burned his wife with his insecurities by misinterpreting my words. She skillfully brought it back to the fact he should talk to me since I’m his friend first in the first place. What disappointment me more is not the fact feminist issues are completely out of his grasp, but rather that he didn’t address his concerns with me while I was present. He let it fester before unloading on his overworked wife. As I tried to bring him a better sense of his impact on her, and attempt to eliviate her work load, it flipped to the complete opposite.
I cared for R, and his family dearly. I saw him as a close friend. It’s one thing to feel down because of the pressure the pandemic has put on us, it’s an other to choose to dig your heels into the ground. He would benefit to do some mental health maintenance. Compassion, and understanding are msucle we need to exercise regularly if we don’t want to lose them.
I’m saddened for B, and what she has to put up with. I’m saddened for their extremely emotionally intelligent daughter that is so many steps ahead of her parents in so many ways. I don’t know what this means for the friendship I had with R, and his entire family. It could be the end. One way or an other, I don’t think I could stand sitting beside someone expressing racist comments, and proclaiming to be a supporter of women while burdening his wife. As much as I care for him, I can’t shove under the carpet my convictions. Deep down, I know I’m standing for the right causes. It hurts to lose someone I care for, but it’s better than to compromise myself.