Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Born on May 7, 1861, Rabindranath Tagore’s poem is inspiring in 2020 and beyond. He could be writing about overcoming this dreadful pandemic.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

The fray of the day

The best camera you have is the one you have with you.

The best notebook you have is the one you have with you.

When I have an idea, I jot it down in my phone via Apple notes. Pen and paper are more classic, but capturing a thought on my phone is so much more convenient because I always have my phone with me.

Working from home during COVID-19 means I’m at my desk and in front of my computer for a large part of the day. The upside of being close to my mac is that memorializing ideas is so easy when I have a keyboard at my fingertips.

The downside with walk & talk meetings or impromptu chats in an office, was that I didn’t immediately write down what had happened or what I needed to do next. Stuff slipped through the cracks. Ideas got lost in the fray of the day.

Writing something down gets an idea out of my head and makes it real. That’s a huge first step to getting it resolved, publishing it, or codifying it.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Imagination factories

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Break free from your indoctrination and step into your imagination.


Here are a couple of indoctrination factories that seduce you, recruit you, shape you, and end up using you:

  • Any schools (except Montessori)
  • Universities with prescriptive degrees
  • Corporate jobs like accounting firms, law firms, and banking jobs
  • Organised religion

Here are some of the imagination factories you should seek out:

  • Travel
  • High-velocity start-ups
  • Cities like San Francisco, New York, LA
  • Montessori schools
  • Festivals and gatherings with like-minded people who will challenge you
  • Twitter and Reddit
  • Books shops
  • Book clubs and writing groups

I learned more at university, sitting with my friends at night trying to figure out life than I did in any lecture hall.

In a post-pandemic society, I hope fewer people attend university, and instead, they get busy working and learning. Now that “top tier” universities charge tuition and fees of over $60,000 per year, can you stomach paying that much money to watch classes via Zoom and YouTube? Instead, start a business or learn in the field.

As tertiary education demand drops, I also hope there are less grooming and rote learning type educations at schools where the sole aim of an “education” is to get a child admitted to a university for further indoctrination.

Getting a gold star in the school of imagination is not about the right answers; it’s about asking the right questions.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tears and laughter

I predict tears and laughter in airports and train stations across the world when we can travel again. Some people, especially immigrants who have journeyed far away from their birthplaces, likely won’t see family and friends for a really long time. Reuniting with loved ones like children, parents, and grandparents will be a cathartic experience. I do not think people have yet realized that pre-pandemic was the last time we would see the people we loved for a very long time.

Photo by Adhitya Andanu on Pexels.com

Sheeple People

Humans are like sheep. We mimic the crowd and don’t like to stand out. Nobody wants to be first, but then when the dam breaks, everyone follows pretty quickly.

We are more comfortable wearing a face mask if someone else is already wearing one. It’s like anything in the fashion world – we first see a new style of clothing on a fashion ramp during Fashion Week, then we see it in a magazine, then some film star is wearing it on Instagram, and then it’s available at Zara or H&M. There’s comfort in conformity.

I noticed the reluctance to wear a face mask during the last two smoke filled fire season and now again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same applies to proper etiquette for social distancing in grocery stores, public transport, and public parks.

Politicians, CEOs, and community leaders should set an example for others to follow. Most people want to do the right thing, but don’t underestimate shyness and the reluctance to stand out as a significant roadblock.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Closing down to open up

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” Jerzy Gregorek

Countries like New Zealand and Australia that mandated proper lockdowns and that had its citizens cooperate are now opening up for trade and commerce again. They will be the “Green” Free Trade zones in 2020.

Countries that screamed about fake news and conspiracy theories haven’t even adequately closed down yet. The failed states will be “Red” no-trade zones as they stagger through the painful process of herd immunity.
The reaction to COVID-19 is like one big The Rorschach Test. COVID-19 is a not a Netflix show that you can turn off when you get bored.

The virus has its own programming schedule and it isn’t On Demand TV like Hulu or Netflix.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com