Mohammad Ali once described impossible as “just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it”.
The Covid-19 pandemic made things which seemed ‘impossible’ happen overnight. Communities united to meet the threat. Governments shut down their economies. Ireland nationalized its hospitals. Canada introduced four months of basic income for those who had lost their jobs. Portugal granted full citizenship rights during the lockdown to immigrants and migrant workers. And the rules about what was ‘impossible’ were forever changed.
Similarly, after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, a whole number of ‘impossible’ things have taken place: including the removal of statues of slave-traders and racists (that people had for years petitioned to be taken down), the creation of new laws (including Breonna’s Law) and Merriam-Webster Dictionary vowing to change its definition of the word ‘racism’ thanks to the efforts of Kennedy Mitchum.
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remake the world that we return to, to #ReturnToBetter rather than #ReturnToNormal. Voices around the world are calling on governments to use the turmoil to transform: to only bail out those companies that look after people and are kind to the planet. To invest in the safety nets that kept us safe, and to let go of the industries and policies that can be more dangerous than any virus.
What is clear is that “we will not go back to normal” (Sonya Renee Taylor) and as artists, activists and imagineers, we have an important role in dreaming this #NewNormal into being. So let us take this invitation to dream big. To dare. To champion ideas whose time have come. And to heed Mohammad Ali’s words and explore the power that each and every one of us have to transform that which was once deemed ‘impossible’ into the inevitable.
What ‘impossible’ story have you been telling yourself that you are ready to turn into an ‘I’m possible’ story?
What policy or idea that was once ridiculed as ‘ridiculous’ can you now help champion as we build a ‘New Normal’?
Artwork by @IrisMaertens
Let us take this invitation to dream big. To dare. To champion ideas whose time has come. And to explore the power that each and every one of us has to transform what once was deemed ‘impossible’ into the inevitable. #ImpossibleIsADare #BuildBackBetter #NewNormal pic.twitter.com/8Yd126xdQY
— WeWereMadeForTheseTimes (@WeWereMade4) June 12, 2020