THE raging storm howling outside today seems very apt in one sense.
After almost a whole year of lockdowns here in Wales, we are to be subjected to yet more weeks of physical and mental incarceration. The weather this weekend in a way perfectly reflects the silent howls of a nation.
For all the serious damage caused by coronavirus to a section of the population, it seems indisputable that the long term damage of lockdowns are likely to prove much more catastrophic for all ages right across our society.
With no impact assessment studies undertaken at all into the social and economic effects of implementing a prison practice on a whole population, there may be a dearth of actual figures to hand right now, but more and more people are waking up to the anectodal evidence mounting up all around us.
From unreported and undiagnosed illnesses of all sorts, the collapse of small and medium-sized businesses, the educational and social narrowing of horizons for our children and young people, and the atomisation and isolation for all ages, lockdowns will likely prove to be this generation’s H bomb.
LOCKDOWNS AS A GENERATIONAL H BOMB
A Conservative MP in England Sir Charles Walker recently asked people to send him their experiences of mental health issues during lockdown, and his physical letter box and his email box have both been inundated with correspondence from people of all ages.He reported that the scale of the human suffering revealed in this correspondence was “overwhelming and heart-breaking”
Here in Wales, there’s only one politician who has really spoken up about the effects of lockdowns on our society, the outspoken Cardiff based politician, Neil Mc’Evoy.
This is most unfortunate, since the negativity shown towards McEvoy by the media and the political class has led many to believe that he is almost a rogue element in the Senedd, who should therefore most likely be ignored on most issues. So, his warnings on the effects of lcokdowns are falling on deaf ears to all intents and purposes.
In general, over this past year,what’s struck me most of all has been the passivity shown by the Welsh public and their willingness to accept the whole government/media narrative unthinkingly.
There has been a shocking lack of debate and due consideration of the wider issues involved in locking down a whole society and how to achieve a balance between keeping the public safe and civil liberties.
NOT A GOOD ADVERT FOR WELSH DEMOCRACY
It’s not been a good advert for Welsh democracy that’s for sure.
And arguably, a blow as well to the nascent Welsh Independence movement that such draconian limitations have been imposed on Welsh civic society by our politicians without any meaningful engagement with the general public
There may be many Welsh people who could now be saying to themselves, do we really want these people to have yet MORE control over our lives?
But perhaps this governmental over-reach will yet lead to some positive outcomes as things progress.
Perhaps the free-thinkers in our midst will respond to it with a heightened sense of the need for personal agency and self-responsibility in life.
OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD A PARALLEL CULTURE
That could well lead to a form of a parallel culture being built here- a culture which is beyond both governmental control and society’s general acceptance of that control.
A state of being which is more empowering, engaging and involving for individuals as they craft a new sort of existence for themselves. And networking with other like-minded individuals at different community and regional levels.
Which is where the new concept of the solopreneur comes in to play.
Most are well aware of the term entrepreneur, made famous here by former Welsh Secretary John Redwood’s fatuous statement that Wales’s economic woes were down to the fact there was no Welsh term for entrepreneur, seemingly unaware that it was in fact a French word!
Solopreneur extends the meaning of entrepreneurship from an economic dimension alone to mean a wider sense of agency over life in general for individuals.
It means treating you own life as a laboratory where you test out what works for you both on a personal level and a professional level in life.
And whatever you say about lockdowns and their effects, perhaps there’s never been a more auspicious time for people to start to make some more conscious choices about how to approach life.
INTROVERSION, SOLITUDE AND CREATIVITY
As someone who runs a small copy-writing agency in north-west Wales, it’s already been an opportunity for me to make the most of my introverted nature,as peace and quiet and solitude are needed for any creativity to thrive in my case.
Being a solopreneur means I am able to craft a life which is meaningful and valuable for me. With key core values at the heart of that life, such as truth, authenticity, individuality, courage, gratitude and intentionality.
Truth for me also means that self-care and more mindful living has to be a key driver of all that I do.
I enjoy being able to intersperse short periods of work with periods of brisk walking every day for relaxation, inspiration, awareness and freedom.
Managing my time and energy in an optimum manner for me alone- not anyone else. Listening to my own body
clock rather than any external time frame imposed by the conventional 9.00 to 5.00 existence.
Authenticity means a willingness to explore mental health in a more creative and empowering manner in my work and mission.
Not a bad course to follow with the wonders of the internet allowing me to tap into what is now a $290 billion industry world- wide!
I would like to think that in innovating with a solopreneur life, it can be an encouragement to others in turn as well.
That more people can live a life which is more intentional, and which suits their own individual requirements as we move into what will hopefully be a post-coronavirus existence in due course.
The storm will pass in time. The opportunity to make our own intentional weather in life awaits.