In the award-winning film “Cast Away,” the main character, played by Tom Hanks, finds himself alone on an island after surviving a horrific plane accident in which he is presumably the only survivor. The film is a study of how one might survive for a long time with no human contact. It challenges the conventional ideas of what is sane or insane. Context changes everything.
Many people are asking themselves whether the lives we led, individually and collectively, were sane or insane. This article, which explores some post-COVID-19 questions about cities, looks at questions of car-light cities and creative housing opportunities that have been experienced in this global pandemic. How might we consider a different way of life when we emerge from this experience?
What conventional ideas about what is ‘normal’ are being tested? Where did these ideas come from? In this provocative article, the author warns us of great global forces of branding that will be pushing us to “get back to normal.” That likely means they’ll be showing us how their products and services can once again make us happy and comfortable. They will try wash away the discomfort we feel right now about inequity and climate damage.
Conventional knowledge is death to our souls,
and it is not really ours. It is laid on.
Yet we keep saying we find “rest” in these “beliefs.”
We must become ignorant of what we have been taught
and be instead bewildered.
Run from what is profitable and comfortable.
Distrust anyone who praises you.
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on, I’ll be mad.Rumi
We have critical decisions to make about the life we want to lead. Alone, we may seem ‘notorious.’ But if enough of us follow our own madness and live guided by our wisdom rather than the brands’ dictates, then that can become the norm.