So …. Now What ?

By Bernard Griess

Bernard is the writer / guitarist for the hard rock band , Undone He has a been a content creator for Total Order Magzine since its launch 6 years ago . This is his first column for Total Order .
In many ways , this past year has been the most challenging time in recent memory . People have lost loved ones , which is the most extreme and unfortunate part about this new Covid-19 world we find ourselves in . But there are other , less talked about elements to this whole strange and ever evolving saga .
Worry has certainly been a big part of the lives of many during all this . Worry about livelihoods has easily been at the forefront of that , as musicians and anyone working in the orbit of the music industry can tell you . As can most aspects of the working people of the world . That can lead to worry about local and statewide economies , some of which have been hit very hard by all of this . Worry for vulnerable loved ones ( I certainly also relate
to this aspect ), for sure . But there ’ s also the strange politicization of all this , and where people fall along those lines that have really caused worry , at least for me . Because this , I feel , can be very important in relationships in our lives that are potentially forever changed .
You see , I think we ’ ve learned a great deal about our own personal circles since Covid became a thing . Long before this virus took control of our ever shrinking world , social media began giving us looks into the lives of the people we know , and those are looks that in numerous ways we probably never would have gotten glimpses of in those past times when people didn ’ t talk about politics , religion , and offer their opinions on just about every single subject ever known to mankind . Yes , kids , there actually was a time like this , as impossible it now seems to believe . And sometimes , and I know this is certainly the case for me , those looks at people have made us realize that we didn ’ t like what we see . Because like everything else , these things have been magnified since all of the polarization of Trump , the pandemic and quarantine and lockdowns and masks all became the norm .
So my current worry is … how are my relationships going to be with some of these people moving forward ? Some of them will go back to they always were , for certain . But some people , I ’ ve discovered , I am diametrically opposed to on a worldview , values , and personal level . Can I reconcile that ? Can I look past those things that bother me viscerally and get back to business ?
The answer is I ’ m not really sure .
I don ’ t think any oF us should expect every single person to share every single belief and opinion . That would make for a very boring world for one , and it would also be an impediment to improvement and progress . We ’ ve got to be able to have differing views and beliefs and still co-exist . But I also believe that some beliefs just make you a bad person , plain and simple . Sometimes you need to suffer the consequences of your words and deeds . And what do you do if you feel like someone in your family , or a friend of yours just at their core is a bad person ? Is that a “ them ” problem , or is that a “ you ” problem ? And don ’ t get started on “ Cancel Culture ”. As a Gen X ’ er , all these people screaming about how wrong that whole phenomenon is were the same ones trying to cancel my entire childhood and the things we loved . So yeah , I don ’ t wanna hear any of that nonsense .
In the end , much like most questions of any worth , it ’ s down to your individual
makeup , and what you place the most importance on . If you can separate these things and keep your relationships , be they personal or professional or whatever , this is an amazing trait . It ’ s very beneficial to you in navigating the world , and I am very envious of those who can get on with their lives in this manner . But , on the flip side of that , you cannot be faulted for walking away from things that no longer serve you , and that can be relations within your own professional life , your creative life , your friendships , your own family , even your own household if your line of thinking is just incompatible with someone in those environments .
( Continued on page 77 )
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