Have you seen this beautiful poem recited online? It’s about a boy who asks his father to read him his favorite bedtime story, “The Great Realization.” It’s a beautiful poem romanticizing the aftereffects of the COVID-19 lockdown. Although there is much work that needs to be done to live up to this poem’s “reality,” it is on some level relatable, quite beautiful and encouraging. I hope you enjoy it!
The Great Realization
“Tell me the one about the virus again, then I’ll go to bed.”
“But, my boy, you’re growing weary, sleepy thoughts about your head.”
“That one’s my favorite. Please, I promise, just once more.”
“Okay, snuggle down, my boy, but I know you all too well.
This story starts before then in a world I once would dwell.
It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,
Back before we understood why hindsight’s 2020
You see, the people came up with companies to trade across all lands
But they swelled and got much bigger than we ever could have planned
We always had our wants, but now, it got so quick
You could have anything you dreamed of, in a day and with a click
We noticed families had stopped talking, that’s not to say they never spoke
But the meaning must have melted and the work life balance broke
And the children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone
They filtered out the imperfections, but amidst the noise, they felt alone.
And every day the skies grew thicker, ‘till you couldn’t see the stars,
So, we flew in planes to find them, while down below we filled our cars.
We drove around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run
We swopped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks ‘till there were none
We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped
Until, each day when you went fishing, you’d pull them out already wrapped
And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us why
It’s best to not upset the lobbies, more convenient to die
But then in 2020, a new virus came our way,
The governments reacted and told us all to hide away
But while we were all hidden, amidst the fear and all the while,
The people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile
They started clapping to say thank you and calling up their mums
And while the car keys gathered dust, they would look forward to their runs
And with the skies less full of voyagers, the earth began to breathe
And the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off into the seas
Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking
We’d grown so used to bad news, but some good news was in the making
And so when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside
We all preferred the world we found to the one we’d left behind
Old habits became extinct and they made way for the new
And every simple act of kindness was now given its due”
“But why did it take us so long to bring the people back together?”
“Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better
Now, lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that we can do
And who knows, if you dream hard enough, maybe some of them will come true
We now call it The Great Realization and yes, since then, there have been many
But that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight’s 2020”
Michal Bonell is senior account manager and team supervisor at the AJT.