A Response To ‘Prepare for The Ultimate Gaslighting’

April 30, 2020
AP Photo/Manish Swarup
AP Photo/Manish Swarup

 

Recently, an article was written called ‘Prepare for The Ultimate Gaslighting’. Written by Julio Vincent Gambuto, he got me thinking and let us be honest, if you have read it, he got you thinking too.

 

It is likely a safe bet that many of us as adults have had the displeasure of experiencing gaslighting. Maybe from a spouse, a friend, a colleague or another trusted figure in your life. Do you remember how it made you feel when it was happening? Generally, emotions such as anxiety, confusion, frustration and feelings of anger at your apparent lack to see the “truth” as others tell you to see it run high. The epitome of a good gaslighting situation is one where you concede that you are the crazy one, that the madness you experience is not madness in the world but madness in your head and as Julio so accurately explained, the world’s population is headed towards the ULTIMATE gaslighting.

 

So here I am, sitting in my home office, I’m wearing my pyjamas which in these current times is now staple business attire and acceptable work wear. My nine-year-old son is sharing my desk as he petulantly too “works from home”. Both of us learning as home schooling becomes the new norm for the foreseeable future. And in all of this, there are certainly experiences that should I alone have experienced I’d surely have to reconsider my mental health but these have been globally felt by billions and yet in what is ultimately a short period of time in comparison to an average lifetime we are primed to step back into a life by which we will be painted as madmen.

 

So as a mother, a business owner and at a minimum, a human being populating this Earth at a time probably so unprecedented the dinosaurs would be the closest to understand such cataclysmic changes in living conditions, in lifestyles and in landscapes I can’t help but ask the question. What the f*ck are you going to do to stop said gaslighting?

 

I thought initially that I should predominantly pose this question to business owners of all sizes, but the reality is that many of us in business are in business to deliver a solution. If we don’t listen to our customers, then one thing is assured. Someone else will and as commerce and economies go, they who deliver solutions to a pain point win. So maybe the question should be posed towards those who hold the REAL power… YOU. The consumer. The voter. The person with the purse. The decision maker. The key person of influence. You who has the ability to create change, even if you don’t realise it. It’s been proven time and time again that revolutions only need two people. One to start. One to follow. Ever seen the video of the man dancing on the hill? Well as individuals and as communities, we are facing one of our greatest opportunities to start a revolution.

 

So what is your revolution against ‘The Ultimate Gaslighting’ going to look like? As John Farnham exclaims, ‘You’re the Voice’. How are you going to use it? We’re stepping into Humankind Version 7. A far cry from our Stone Age predecessors or is it? For me personally I want to use my voice for the betterment of this world. I want to see change. I want to have this whole experience leave us with some valuable and actionable insights. For instance, fuel prices. The epitome of consumer driven pricing. In no recent time since obtaining my driver’s license some decades ago have I seen fuel prices finally affordable. The money saved at the gas pump has now been spent on increased food prices. Apparently not everyone believes being opportunistic in times like these is unethical.

 

I want to use my voice to advocate for more people to be able to work remotely. Reducing pollution, mental aggravation, traffic congestion (did you see residents in Punjab, India can see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time since traffic pollution has reduced), increasing the opportunities for those previously squeezed out of the workforce for bullshit reasons, usually Management led distrust of their workforce. Enacting a remote workforce will allow those who are less able bodied, care givers, low income earners without access to stable public transport and many more humans to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with living a life of purpose and further creating an impact in their lives and those around them. Also, if you don’t trust your team to work remotely after you have set up autonomy, boundaries and mechanisms for support, then why did you hire them? Maybe an even more savage question is, why are you a leader in business if you don’t see how this is the next big thing in business culture and innovation? Not convinced, read the book (or listen) Drive by Daniel H. Pink. He writes about the surprising truth behind what motivates us and how it is regularly proven in science that those with agile workforces become a force to be reckoned with.  Their businesses experience higher employee engagement and loyalty as well as increased customer loyalty as their talent are not just rewarded extrinsically but intrinsically too making them want to work harder for their employer, not the other way around.

 

Here’s something else I will use my powerful voice for. Critical thinking. I will question what I am told. It’s not because I distrust you, but it is to ensure I am working with the most accurate information to make the most educated choices for my situation. Sadly, rarely this includes social media. Don’t believe everything you read or see on Facebook. Get out of the bubble. Find other resources that are advocated for by experts and non-partisan influences.

 

Let’s also band together to revolutionise our world’s healthcare systems and front line workers in education, emergency services, defence and the like. There is nothing like a global pandemic to make you realise how ill-equipped we force these sectors to survive in. By the way, shout out to you all. You are the fucking backbone of communities worldwide and I thank you. We thank you.

 

So as we run on the smell of an oily rag. Ready to just be back to normal, I ask you again. What the f*ck are you going to do to stop said gaslighting? Don’t let your emotional exhaustion walk you into believing whatever you’re told. You are not cray cray. You are not imagining this. Going back to the old normal is not what has to happen. Let’s follow the lone man dancing on the hill and lead a revolution towards a new normal. One that cares more. One that values more. One that does better.

 

Yours sincerely,

Aileen Day

A Future Better Human With a Powerful Voice

4 Comments

  1. Meg 10 months Reply

    Powerful read. Here’s hoping we as a planet-wide community take the good from this experience and shake up some of the old norms. Nice inclusion of the lone man dancing on the hill.

    • Meraki 10 months Reply

      Thanks Meg, yes, it is certainly a lesson that has stuck with me over the years! It’s so versatile and real.

  2. Maryann Heath 5 months Reply

    Wow.. stumbled across this following a @kerwinrae feed recommending you. This is beautifully powerful and energetic call to action.. May i recommend http://www.makeyourchange.org .. a likeminded arena where all meaningful actions towards a collective voice are encouraged to gather. Regards Mary

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