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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  Revolution does not equal Resolution
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Tuesday, June 2,2020

Revolution does not equal Resolution

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  
We think of revolution as a drastic change in governmental, social or scientific order. But it is also defined as an instance of revolving, as in “one revolution per minute” (or annum, or decade…). The two meanings seem mutually exclusive – one being a sudden shift resulting in vast change, the other a change circling back to where it started. Perhaps they point to the same thing: lasting change takes time, but at the end of the day, the underlying causes of strife remain, don’t really change. Each new beginning brings with it the same problems dressed in more modern symptoms. The underlying causes remain the same.

Perhaps it is meant to be that way. Searching for ways to solve the woes of humanity, both large and small, gives meaning to our lives. In our search for meaning we uncover painful truths and work to remedy injustice. Some practice law, others write, teach or preach. There are artists and poets and inventors… politicians, doctors, caretakers. We each channel our curiosities and passions in our own unique way trying to make the world a better place. Some of us in our own small corner of the world, others on a platform. This has been the story of human existence from the beginning.

Regarding COVID-19, what has made one revolution across a generation, and what will be the revolutionary changes that result? The pandemic impacted the entire globe, so that is rare. The virus is an equal opportunity offender making us all vulnerable. Add together a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, and we find a shift away from globalism to nationalism. But that shift was already making its way back around from its most recent heyday about 80 years ago. Our innate lack of trust in the “other” and our failure as a human race to cohabit peacefully on our increasingly interconnected planet will likely lead us back around to another world conflict at some point. World War I was the “war to end all wars.” Twenty short years later, World War II broke out. We have managed since then to avoid a massive international killing spree, but how long will the lessons learned from that time last? The greatest generation is on its way out. The millenials will most certainly have to deal with similar human tendencies, but will have different tools at their disposal. Hopefully the lessons of history will also be present.

This column is called “On the Bright Side” for a reason, so let’s find the silver lining here. You can’t get anywhere standing still, so the status quo is not sustainable. Also, we all know you cannot have a rainbow without a little rain. When the growing pains of life feel overwhelming, like they have over the past months, I turn to history to show me that “this too shall pass, and we will be better on the other side.” I also feel optimistic when I use my voice to speak my truth and my faith to keep me strong. We’ve got this!

 

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