Somehow intertwined, definitely unveiled

15 April 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Natasja Beyleveld

“To see a splendid kingdom fade away is far sadder than seeing a second-rate republic collapse.” (Translated from Japanese by Jay Rubin.)
Sounds a bit like true love fading due to dis(ease), versus an abusive relationship crashing into pieces?
Sometimes we have a love-love relationship with our perceptions about the world, and sometimes we forget the deeper the love, the deeper the hate. The more entrenched the belief, the greater the disbelief after the initial “veil of ignorance” has been lifted.
The theoretical ‘Veil of Ignorance’ experiment is powerful, because our usual opinions regarding what is just and unjust are based by our own experiences. We are shaped by our race, gender, class, education, appearance, sexuality, career, family, and so on.
On the other side of the Veil of Ignorance, none of this exists. What if you knew nothing of your sex, race, nationality, or individual interests, and then spent time with others? The accountant, the engineer, the architect, the psychologist, and the teacher. Is one’s work more significant than the other in building a new school? Shaping the values for the school? Does the title engineer define that you are incapable of making recommendations for maintaining discipline at school, although you have five children of your own?

Altering perceptions
The new realities exposed by solitude amidst Covid-19 has affected our perception about change, expectation, adaptation, norms and rules. Our perception of what is ideal, and what is regarded just, and true.
Looking at the royals now versus a few hundred years ago, we spot some crucial changes in how the public views authority and status amidst leadership. Access to information and the power of online and social media has shamelessly unlocked the cages of modern thinking. The herd-mentality is more popular than condoning regime-slavery. Social media has brought humour and emotion back into communication, and this has changed the trajectory for corporate/political communications, and our expectations ‘from the other end’.
The queen and duchess now appear in animated GIFs with bird poop and exposed breasts involved, quite inappropriately so.
Idealism asks “what separates us from each other?” Is there a net value to that? Does it change the way we speak or listen to each other?
The problem that I have with titles is that they separate people only to connect to solve problems with the tools that you have, or do not have. It sets boundaries. To an extent we voluntarily become the tool in the mechanics of humans, and speed through the emotion and relation of being a human. Relationships outlive pragmatically orientated and systematically engineered “solutions” to society. When relationships are hurt, people act from their reference: Hurt.
*Natasja Beyleveld is the managing director of NaMedia.

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