History tells us a lot about what to expect in the future. Funny it is, isn’t it? That the past gives a view of what the future will hold.
From the beginning of time, we have seen how homes are built. The mother is the primary caregiver, and the father is the primary bread winner. I don’t think it was intended that one task be looked at as “lesser” than the other, but in fast moving societies, money won the race. The partner who got money to the table, was respected more, perhaps maybe even loved more in some cases. Housework though remained the same year on year. Child rearing was the same. No matter how advanced we become, there is still that one way to birth a child.
But there were shifts happening in family systems. Women started earning too. They realised that when men contributed to house work, they were adored and cherished. But when women contributed to monetary gains, there really wasn’t that much of an encouragement. Almost as if the fear was that if both could earn money, who’s decision would prevail?
Power was at stake.
All throughout history you will see that power, the love of staying in power has led both men and women to take decisions that people not fuelled by it would never understand.
As homes evolved, we saw the rise of “modern men” too. They believed in women earning money, but also believed that house work was their responsibility to manage. Then we moved on, to still more forward thinking men, where they decided to share everything- home work, outside work, money. Everything was about equality in such homes.
But if history teaches us anything- it is that no matter how hard we strive, equality is a thing only for Karma.
It is never equality, only balance.
I say so because, the story of women’s emancipation has largely been about how much ground the men have conceded. That was an act in balancing a twisted scale. We can continue to profess equality, but in reality only a mother’s body can make food for the child and it is only her that can be home to one. Also given how many of us are raised, women might take time to find their footing outside of home and so till then, it is the men who can alert to what the environment holds. Long before the girls are sent out for buying groceries, the boys have already been buying milk and bread for a number of years. Of course, there will be outliers to everything that I have described.
So when you think equality, what you are actually saying is balance.
History also tells us that everything can change in an instant. Do you remember how the world used to be before the corona virus? You do. Only now you remember it with such nostalgia! And history also tells us that the world will eventually normalise- there was the plague, the SARS epidemic, swine flu and what nots. We’ve made it so far.
Historically speaking, we should make it into the future. Easy breezy. Because now that humans have been away from the environment for almost 3 months, the earth is balanced.
You can see dolphins returning to your shores. That should be what heaven is like, no?
History shows us that we start from that point on the scale where we believe that power is our birthright. It is all ours. We are brought up with that much entitlement by our parents, that forget everything else, but this square of land will always be ours. As we go through life, our notions of power, being in power evolve. We trudge onto understanding that power can’t be selfish, then we think about sharing power, then we think about denouncing power.
The last point on the scale is where we understand that all of this at best is an illusion.
That the only power we have is on how we behave and respond, nothing more than that and nothing less.
And that is why it is called history. Because no matter how momentous that was, it was. It passed. It led to other things, sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller, but it all passed. And it will keep passing.
Make your waves while the sea flows by you. Very soon, you will have newer places to be in.