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It was about a year ago when I started writing an article about dreams and why I thought it was important not to give up on them and to relentlessly pursue them with passion and determination. The name of the article was supposed to be “Wish Upon A Dream” and I was planning to publish it on LinkedIN.

What remains of that initial draft is only the illustration you see at the top of this page. All the rest is gone. Deleted. Wiped out. Because we are now in a different world and because that was then, and this is now.

That was when we still had an office to go to and, for some, a job to do which was only later discovered to be non essential. It was when we could still chat with colleagues during lunch about sports, skiing, the weather, our vacation, the movies seen or planned to see or simply talk about how we spent the weekend relaxing at home.

It was when we could hug our families and friends, go to restaurants and cafes, sit close to one another, go to concerts, theatres, visit museums and exchange opinions in soft whispers so as not to bother the other visitors. It was when we could travel freely without someone checking our temperature or without finding ourselves quarantined again the moment we would get back home.

That was when we were not afraid to go out and breathe the same air as everyone else without wearing a mask; when we were not afraid to get sick or to get someone else sick; when we didn’t have to look at someone we liked at a distance while wishing deep down to be able to go up to them, meet them and simply shake their hands.

That was when we lived life the way we knew how which was fully as opposed to watch it pass us by on a flat screen and hear its sounds through small white headphones.

Indeed that was a different world. And that was when I wanted to publish my article on dreams and never did.

When I postponed important decisions in my life always thinking it was not the right time. When I took my freedom of movement for granted, like taking a flight back home to Italy, thinking I would be able to see my family and friends any time I wanted to and share the simple moments of life with the them without having to organise a virtual meeting!

If that was then, what is now?

Well, maybe now is the time to first of all stretch our limbs, breathe deeply, dress normally, go out, smile and appreciate all of those things we took for granted back then.

Maybe now is the time to ask more questions than to find answers; to challenge those assumptions and beliefs that our society has been feeding itself on for the past century and that may no longer hold true; to reflect and consider what we didn’t like of our “then” and make our “now” different.

Maybe now more than ever, is the time to stop blaming one another, pointing fingers and wanting to prevail by shouting louder than the others, tweeting faster than the others, terrorising people with unnecessary fears that land on fertile grounds and touch our most vulnerable points like health, work and financial security.

Maybe now more than ever this is the time to be alert, awake and attentive to what are the new narratives that are being shaped because these narratives will dictate our future through new policies, new laws, new apps, new ways of working, new ways of living.

So perhaps never like now should we be actively engaged in understanding what is happening around us in the social, economic, political and scientific field and be “response-able” and “responsible” for our actions, words and thoughts, because after all we are living in a shared reality and, as such, we all have a role to play however big or small that role may be.

And, who knows, maybe now is the time to look at those dreams again, take them out of those stuffy drawers, polish them up, make them shine so bright that they become our new North Star, our beacon, our magnet, our very special vision for the future.

Which, by the way, before I forget…

…. now is the time to publish my first article and maybe start the second one because that was then and this is now!

Paola Granati