All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday…
– The Beatles, 1965
Yesterday… we never knew how fortunate we were, when change was constant, in the way our society, culture, norms and the government experienced it.
As a result of this constant change, we were fortunate to see many troubles put behind us.
But as we grew and embraced the constant change, there were still many of us who resisted it.
Today… if this is what our present reality looks like, then our silhouette would be some dark or dystopian shadow of ourselves in a featured television show. We find ourselves trapped, doing repetitious tasks, carrying on with our human progression or purpose in an endless vicious cycle. It feels almost as if we have been doing this for an eternity.
This reminds me of an episode of a TV series depicting time as a relative construct, while our human consciousness could be cloned, constructed, and trapped within a device to act as artificial intelligence or a simple virtual assistant as its one true purpose.
Who are we to comfort or lie to ourselves, to say that the cycle will soon end when we all achieve “herd immunity”? Or that maybe a promising cure for Covid would appear within a few months or a year? We would not know that even if we had carried out a simulation.
The current political climate reminds me of another TV series. The party coalition that precariously holds its government administration together is nothing more than a house of cards. Insecure individuals with little substance plot surreptitiously in the shadows and move deceptively through slippery lines to launch a coup on a democratically elected government. Only slightly more than a year after seizing control and seeking to calm the pandemic storm, they are caught by their own opportunistic and illegitimate web of deceptions and failures. These people must have realised by now it is probably easier to operate in the shadows than govern a nation without disrupting people’s daily lives.
The path we choose for Tomorrow… will affect our outlook for what humanity is destined to strive for. As our former youth minister once tweeted: “The decisions we make today will haunt us in the future. It will leave a lasting effect in 10-20 years to come.”
All we can hope for is that for every cycle we are exposed to and have endured, we learn important lessons. Hopefully, each cycle will become shorter – or we can cushion its impact on our lives. And eventually, the cycle will become inconsequential, akin to how our vaccines, antibodies and our immune system work when we are exposed to and have recovered from a virus.
As change remains constant and regardless of how we adapt, the climate change crisis will pose a more significant threat to our planet. The pandemic is just the beginning.
The endgame will be entirely up to all of us. Maybe common decency is just what the world needs. Let’s hope we can work on the same faith that The Beatles had in their song so that we too can believe in yesterday.
John Fong graduated in social science and completed a masters at USM, majoring in political science. He is presently doing casual research work and, in his free time, indulges in Star Wars games