I was reading about a phenomenon called a “social tipping point.”  Much like the idea of the straw that broke the camel’s back, social tipping points are when a small change triggers rapid, unpredictable changes.
Sounds a lot like COVID, right? 
Social scientists and researchers study social tipping points wanting to understand how they happen and how to create them.   Abrupt social change is often associated with social unrest, war, or even collapse so it’s preferable that the interventions result in “positive social tipping dynamics,” improving rather than reducing life.  The assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife is an example of a “bad” social tipping point, because it is seen by many as the tipping point that led eventually to World War One.
A more innocuous example is one of a child pushing themselves from the top of a playground slide. There is a point beyond which it is too late for the child to stop from sliding down. Pass this threshold and the child continues inevitably towards a completely different state – arriving at the bottom of the slide rather than the top.
One of the hallmarks of a social tipping point is that the interventions must be able to tip the systems within the relevant time frame of 15 to 30 years.  This apparently matches the schedule of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  So, to meet the goals of climate policy, small, targeted interventions can in turn trigger a cascade of bigger, faster changes in fossil fuel-based economies and cultures, within 30 years – and it needs to not inadvertently produce negative consequences.
COVID could be seen as a social tipping point in the climate change context.
Now what is most important is what happens after the social tipping point happens.  Will each of us be able to continue our own small social tipping points in the direction of social good, peace, love, connection?  Or allow our lower selves to predominate, in the direction of fear, hatred, isolation and disconnection?
The choice is ours!
If you’d like to read the article yourself, here it is.