Anxiety In The Pandemic

Here’s an interesting discussion (the video below) about many facets of We-Space and Me-Space…at least that’s what I’m hearing in this. He raises some really vital things to consider and question about living within a system…a sort of artificial We-Space…a manufactured WS that serves the few (who have designed the WS) and how that is inherently problematic for living a truly thriving existence. What does a vibrantly healthy We-Space look like? If the WS isn’t healthy it’s not possible to have a truly thriving Me-Space it seems to me. The Me-Space is nested within the larger We-Space according to my current understanding.

The metaphor that comes to my mind is a fish tank. Anyone who’s kept a fish tank knows that when a number of the fish become sick or start dying the first thing you do is test the health of the water. You don’t examine each individual fish as being unique and separate problems. You look at the health of the We-Space. Likewise, when millions of people in the wealthiest countries on the planet (and the wealthiest in all of human history) are suffering from depression, anxiety, poverty and homelessness it seems to me, at the very least, irresponsible and silly to consider that those people are in that situation solely because of poor decision making and bad choices on their part as individuals. And yet this is a very strong narrative that we’re sold. If we buy into the false narrative of ‘The Self Made Man/Woman’ (no We-Space…only Me-Space) then we implicitly buy into the notion that if anyone fails to live up to that myth they have only themselves to blame…‘The Self Un-Made Man/Woman’. I don’t buy into that personally…not when ill health, mentally and physically, have reached epidemic proportions. It seems likely it’s a useful time to question the quality of the water we’re all swimming in.

I want to be clear, I’m not meaning my words to be political in any specific way or direction. I’m just interested in discussing some of the larger aspects of We-Space and it’s implications in relationship with Me-Space. I do agree with Russell Brand that this pandemic situation, with all it’s attendant misery, has brought some of this to the forefront of many people’s minds and that can only be a good thing I believe. There’s light…lot’s of it…within this dark uncertain moment we’re experiencing.

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I’m also thinking about when the We-Space I’m in doesn’t feel like it’s inclusive of my Me-Space…then I have the experience of Me-Space vs Them-Space…which feels alienating and disconnected.

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I didn’t have a chance to listen to Russell Brand (yet). And, I want to nod that the fishtank analogy feels really apt. Especially if we embrace also that if a We-Space is a space with some kind of “structure” – even if porous – and we all exist within different we-spaces… well, considering the ecosystem (water, pH, temperature, food quality (nourishment), safety/stress, light, love) is… SENSIBLE!

I’ve never used Them-Space before… and you really nailed it.

Other-isms of all kinds create them-spaces which are alienating.

And it makes me wonder how we approach We-Spaces which, yes, do need to be tuned and have boundaries to allow for certain types of “swimming together” with safety, respect, and freedom. Consciously making those clear feels… hard. And that it matters.


In the spirit of full disclosure I have only listened to about half of the Russell Brand video…I’ll finish it today…but it was enough to activate some thoughts. I’m always amazed at how Brand and I are so much on the same ‘wave length’ to the point of it sometimes feeling like he’s been listening to my thoughts…lol. I also appreciate that he’s fundamentally a ‘questioner’…and an intelligent, intuitive and sensitive one at that.

The fish tank metaphor is one that occurred to me some months ago in a Facebook discussion…it still feels like it’s a relevant and accurate comparison. I keep that one fresh in my mind because for me it’s an important and useful perspective on the bigger picture.

It feels like there’s lots of terrain to navigate in these various spaces…Me, We, Them…and I am grateful for the roadmaps I’ve been offered in the past year…(several important ones have come from you Rick…thank you :slight_smile: )…there’s plenty of opportunity to get lost without a map in the glovebox.