The primary source of my concern is the impending systemic catastrophe barely anyone wants to acknowledge, let alone discuss. The birdemic panic has essentially knee-capped Everyman economically. The longer the lockdowns continue, the more acute the pain and suffering that follows will become. Some believe this will finally motivate the John Does to see the light. I imagine some of them will. Yet in my mind, the deeper the pain and suffering becomes, the more the material world crumbles from beneath the herd, the greater the chance the common man will recklessly hurl himself at the feet of the System and beg for mercy. (If, that is, there is any System left from which to beg mercy when all of this eventually comes to an end.)
In all honesty, I can't understand why I have been so worried about the fate of the average Joe these past two or three weeks. To begin with, I am not at all inspired by or inclined to the faux altruism and democracy that our civilization extols among its highest virtues. Secondly, though I acknowledge the existence of groups and masses, I don't particularly care for crowds and cannot bring myself to like or love abstractions like "the people" in any meaningful way. Finally, I know for a fact that I would not particularly like most of the people who make up that formless blob known as the common man.
Now, before anyone accuses me of misanthropy, allow me to stress that I feel no scorn or contempt for the common man. I am not one of those self-righteous bloggers who does little more than gloat about his own superiority while ceaselessly denigrating the masses as brainwashed 'sheeple' and the like. I accept the fact that most people are stupid, short-termist, selfish, vain, greedy, lecherous, and manipulable, but screaming this from the rooftops on a daily basis does nothing for me personally.
When all is said and done, I can think of many times in my own life when I have been stupid, short-termist, selfish, vain, greedy, lecherous, and manipulable. This does not automatically excuse these traits in others, but it does serve to remind me that I am human as well, and like all humans, like all common men, I have been prone to and will likely continue to be prone to shortcomings, failures, and yes, even sin.
Hence, I have nothing against humanity, but I refuse to worship it. It is not an idol for me. I don't want to make everyone equal or ensure everyone's perpetual comfort and satisfaction in this world. To be frank, I have barely any socialist impulses at all. No, I think my concern springs from a different angle.
Though it's sometimes difficult to maintain, I tend to think of people as fellow children of God. We all have souls. We all have potential. We all have a purpose. We are all here for a reason. We are all here to learn from experience and to develop spiritually. Berdyaev once said that a single human soul is worth more than the whole of human history, and I suppose my concern for the common man stems from that sort of notion.
I sense a great deal of evil behind the events currently unfolding all around us, and I cannot shake the feeling that these events are going to inflict a tremendous amount of material suffering upon the common man. This is bad enough in itself, but what really troubles me is the potential spiritual misery the material anguish may ignite. The near-future will likely become a mass winnowing of souls - and I get the sense that the souls of many common men will not make it through this process.
And I guess that's where my concern is rooted. But then I remember that each person has his or her own individual journey, and his or her own individual choices to make. I can infuse my concern into prayer or attempt to communicate through this obscure blog, but when all is said and done, there's not much more I can do.
I can feel for the common man, but I have to recognize that this feeling can only do so much to save him - and nothing at all if he feels no inclination to be saved. I can attempt to communicate to the common man, but I must accept the communication will mean little if it is ignored.
And I must force myself to remember that if what Berdyaev says is true, my soul is worth all of human history as well. On top of that, it is the only soul I truly have any semblance of influence over.
The rest is ultimately not up to me - and one way or the other, I simply have to accept that and loosen my grip of concern for the common man.