It is okay to not comply

Compliance and submission is a natural survival strategy. Something we do automatically in order to not be punished whether it is subtle social punishment such as exclusion, shaming or rejection but also more directly when our bodily safety is under threat.

We are not taught how to skilfully meet threat and confrontation or how to non-violently defend ourselves. Most of us has to actively seek the learning for ourselves whether it is as communication skills, relational skill or physical self-defence classes.

Compliance and compromise is part of co-existing. It is okay to comply. But it may not bring the safety and connection that we long for.

I think it is important to consider what we are complying with and why. Whether the threat we perceive or are being told about is real. To me I feel a massive disconnect between the reality produced by media and government and the reality I encounter in my daily life with local people and with friends.

And it is okay not to comply. For some people not complying will feel natural, for some exhilarating and for others it will feel scary. And we have choice about when and how we comply and when we don’t.

People are disagreeing with the dominant narrative of control and medical dogma. All over the world. It may be framed as mad or irresponsible. But it is deeply human to connect and resist. It is deeply human to want choice and bodily autonomy.

What is happening comes across to me as a religious and dogmatic approach to health and also to organising community. As humans we are probably attracted to and uncomfortable with dogma.

Dogma can look like it offers to create order and coherence of chaos.

Personally I don’t crave a life without chaos. I don’t like chaos but I need it. I like predictability, safety and structure but I also know they are changeable and sometimes illusory.

Virus, illness and death taps into deep primal instincts in us. These are all ununderstanable, unknown and uncontrollable. They are part of nature, of natural life.

What is happening around the global response to covid-19 might not be about illness or science, I don’t know if it ever really was.

It might be a good distraction from much more urgent stuff that makes us feel powerless like global increasing inequality, environmental issues and economic shifts due to brexit.

It might be a crisis point in a collective spiritual journey that human consciousness is on.

It might be a symptom of American culture wars as well as American politics and free market ideas being exported to the rest of the world at an increasing rate. Medical health care has long been a ruthless business there and the resistance to vaccinations (there are generally more of those in US than in Europe) has a long history.

I don’t know what is going on. From the beginning of 2020 I have felt confused and unsure about how to make sense of any of this.

There are loads of things I don’t know and I am happy to admit I don’t know.

I am also happy to admit that I cannot separate my knowledge from my life story and my beliefs.

I think that if it was okay to say ‘I don’t know, but lets talk about this together’ we would not be in this mess. The insistence on certainty is devastating to our ability to find sustainable and flexible solutions.

I do not believe that the insistence and focus on controlling the virus, controlling the population, controlling public behaviour which all boils down to ‘control yourself’ is going to work. My sense is not that we collectively feel safer but rather that we feel exhausted. This taming of our psyche and of our ways of engaging socially is deeply problematic and not very humane…

If you feel disturbed and overwhelmed by how things are being done by governments, media, organisations and institutes, I don’t think you are ‘misinformed’ or stupid or a conspiracy theorist. I think you are human.

If you feel that governments and media are doing their best in a difficult situation and that we should all try to do what we are being told so that lives might be saved, then I think that is very human too. We are deeply dependent on each other as social beings and in order to function in large groups and huge societies it can feel like there needs to be leaders and experts who can guide the masses to avoid chaos.

We have been thrown into a perpetual state of threat and incoherence. We are witnessing and being encouraged to participate in something I see as a theatre of safety. Everyday I am asking myself;

am I a threat to others?

Does this make sense?

Does this behaviour really guarantee the safety of myself and others?

Can I ever really know what is safe and what is not?

To what extend am I able and willing to participate in this theatre of safety and when do I have to take a stand and graciously accept that I may be rejected or excluded?

I have never been one for protest but I am grateful to all the people around the world who have been protesting about restrictions and policies and media coverage since the beginning of this syndemic. Throughout there has been a lack of coverage of these protest and when they have been mentioned it has been in a dismissive and derogatory way.

The early protests in Germany last year were framed as all this new breed of ‘right wing new age’ people. That was a very clever way for both the right and the left to distance itself from the protests and dismiss it as some form of new extremism. Also using the term ‘super-spreader’ events has been a somewhat efficient way of inciting moral outrage against people who are protesting.

There is no curiosity and no respect about why people are protesting.

I think it is brave to protest knowing that what you are doing will not be portrayed in an honest and balanced way, if it is indeed mentioned at all. All these protest in countries all over the world help me feel less alone but it is weird to have to go searching for the footage and the stories because I cannot rely on main stream media to share it.

It reminds me of the way media was controlled and used during the non-violent resistance movement in India to portray British Imperialism as the hero and the Indian people as stupid terrorists…

And I very much doubt that resistance movements and groups were portrayed favourably before and during the 2nd world war where fascism and varying forms of national socialism were popular around the world.

Media manipulating the narratives and attempting to manipulate the general public is nothing new, but it is so disheartening.

This is quite a cool way to honour the warrior in us.

and this one relates to the situation my partner is in.

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