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Perhaps the era of pandemic will be recalled in the history books as a time when people came closer to each other, when solidarity, compassion, empathy became the foundations of a new paradigm upon which our civilization started thriving, more fairly, more justly. However, it was not only the pandemic that kicked off a wave of tectonic shifts.

Instead of confrontation among nations, an international system based on cooperation; instead of vying for global hegemony, the major powers asserted the supremacy of reconciliation and harmony among nations; instead of a culture overtly harnessing, leveraging and projecting the egos of the people, a culture of “we” prevailed over one based on “I’.

Due to a social justice movement starting in the USA out of outrage and despair, where Afro Americans started reasserting their own rights and re-claiming their rights, this turned into a global movement that managed to re-balance the power relationships. As a consequence, a sense of uneasiness assailed many of us who never ever even realized and doubted the privileges upon which their lives where constructed and stratified. Such introspection brought people from privilege closer to those without.

The fight for the rights of a minority group in America became an opportunity to question fixed certainties elsewhere, where the consciousness of the better off part of the global population were asked to evolve resolutely and morphed into a more inclusive, progressive and yet not condescending attitudes and behaviors.

This history will tell of a pandemic and a global call for justice, coming into force at once like a whirlpool, creating a new level playing field shaped in the name of equity.

Justice will happen only when people’s relationships will be based on a fairer sharing of resources, locally, nationally and globally, where those less fortunate will be able to reclaim their space, their worthiness and pride.

This will only occur when the push for equity, the recognition that the privileges of few was based on the oppression and reclusion of many, will have addressed the roots causes of an unequal and pervasively unjust system.

When disenfranchised citizens started calling for reparations, a call that soon extended to the many other injustices committed by those dominating.

Equality became the end goal, the result of tireless efforts to create a fairer global society, when the better off spontaneously decided to take some steps back while the others, the marginalized and oppressed, were nudged ahead.

Finally, while justice was not an achievement yet, everybody was on the same page, everybody was starting from the same line. A beginning of a new way of thinking of our humanity was heralded and step by step, with shared audacity and shared pain, a better world was shaped.

Volunteerism and civic engagement became big, their importance re-asserted because they became so instrumental in making the humankind better.

Unsurprisingly after all if you think.

These have been always undervalued tools for our betterment, true equalizers as people who serve together in local communities and debate together from different aisles of the civic arenas, collectively contribute to make our societies more active, more engaged.

All this now looks like a utopian vision, sketched out of the impossible hope that the history books describing the effects of coronavirus and the global movement against racism, will talk also of new forms of democracy built on the possibility that everybody had a voice that was heard.

The world can be truly better because with equity, equality and justice at the end, a different economic model can be designed, more respectful of the environment in which human greed is tempered by more generosity and different behaviors in relation to money and wealth prevail.

Perhaps the history books will tell an entirely different story, where out of the pandemic and a global movement for justice, nothing really changed, only the surface, where hypocrisy and ego and selfishness became again dominating elements of a dangerous and self-destructing progress.

These history books will tell of more hegemonic conflicts among nations, more tension and perhaps more destructive wars, more fires, less forests, more people suffering as part of invisible minorities, in which, as result people will be more and more disengaged and disillusioned.

For a brief period of time, things looked better but it did not last long.

The solidarity that emerged during the pandemic soon vanished, the protests reclaiming that not only Black Lives Matter but also lives of oppressed matters, were crushed by a misleading system that was just a pretense of common betterment.

I am wondering if we as humans will be still around to read this version of our future history.

There is no inevitability, not yet but it is entirely up to us.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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