Michael Laitman, On Quora: “How will coronavirus change consumer behaviour forever?“
The coronavirus put spokes in the wheels of the egoistic-competitive paradigm that we had accepted as the norm until recently.
It is because we have reached a point in human development where we need to start growing beyond our egoistic human nature, the inclination to personally benefit at the expense of others.
In other words, our present era is characterized by nature pressing upon us to enter into balance with its interconnected and interdependent form, and thus, it is no longer tolerant of our abuse.
As such, businesses involving the exploitation of people and nature will gradually disappear. The days of opening any business we want—with profit motives at the forefront, and social and ecological considerations in the background, if at all—are over.
We thus have a major undertaking ahead of us. It requires none less than to balance with nature, i.e., to adjust our attitudes to each other in adaptation with the integral relationships among everything existing in nature.
As nature functions according to laws of altruism and interdependence, so too we need to upgrade the quality of our relationships—from egoistic to altruistic, divisive to well-connected—in order to experience healthy, safe and happy lives, balanced with nature.
We have interesting times ahead of us. I think that when we eventually become freed from the pandemic’s conditions, we will more clearly feel how there is no return to the steroid-pumped capitalistic framework we were in before the coronavirus entered our lives.
At that stage, I also see us starting to acknowledge the extent to which we have changed.
Where until recently, people respected the idea of increasing profit margins, paying more attention to the digits in each one’s respective bank accounts than to other people’s well-being, I think more and more people will despise such a tendency.
We will enter into a difficult and confusing period. There will be a a lot of effort put into trying to revive the pre-coronavirus world together with an increased distaste with that world.
Businesses and consumer habits will become more essentials-focused, and people will hold to more normal universal values.
As we head into the future, people wanting to run businesses will need to think very hard about whether and how their business will provide people with something they really cannot do without.
Nature itself will no longer let us splurge in surplus leisure. High unemployment will sweep through societies and the unemployed will be unable to find work that deals with nonessential goods and services.
Governments will be faced with a major problem in terms of what to do with their vast unemployed populations.
I have proposed a model, which recommends paying these people a stipend that covers their needs in exchange for engaging in a new form of education that teaches how to live harmoniously in today’s interdependent reality—the kind of education absent from the schooling system that raised us.
The rest of the the population will be engaged in needed and vital work for humanity, and not in work for the sake of profits, riches and individualistic success at the expense of others.
I sincerely hope that we arrive at such a setup sooner rather than later, because we will reach it one way or another.
While we perceive ourselves as separate from nature, able to seemingly think and act freely, we simply fail to see that we are nature’s parts, and nature is guiding us to match its laws with or without our awareness.
We have reached a stage of development where we experience nature’s disagreement with our excessive exploitation of its resources and of each other, in the form of the coronavirus. And I see this pandemic as our first major stage of purification.
Above photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash.