Creating a new normal for the future

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by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert

I don’t know when it was, the night of December 31, 2020 or December 2021, that I heard a leading politician make the statement: “We have seen hardship, we have seen triumph. We shall see more of both. We stood strong in faith. Giving freely what little we had and what little we were. Never doubting that we spent ourselves for a general good”. And then I woke up. It was only a dream. Dreams don’t label what time or year it was, and they don’t put a name on persons.

Actually, the dream was much longer that, this was only the end before awakening. Prior to it was another scene that appeared to me in haze, mystery and with a person who could not be identified. I guess it must have reflected that same time period, the last night of 2020 or 2021 and the period before. Yet, it came over so strong that I remember it well:

“Good night my friend, it’s time for me to go.

What I have to say will only last one cigarette and one last glass while I’m still standing here. Thank you for the day and the night under your roof, for the seat at your table, for every glass that I drank, for the plate that you added to your own, as if nothing was more natural in the world. Thanks for the time that we chatted away and for your patience when there was more than one opinion. Thank you that you never asked when I came when I went, and for your always open door. Thank you for the tolerance that is permanent within you. Thanks, that you never ask what’s in it, or if it’s worth it.”

A message that came now, involuntarily in my mind during certain stages of sleep, but it pictured a circumstance in the future. One wonders. Dream Interpretation is the attempt at drawing meaning from dreams and searching for an underlying message. What was the message and what is happening in the period before the last night of 2020 or 2021? Maybe the essence of it is just a reminder of what we are dealing with currently and how we deal with it. Maybe we should be more alert to reality and think more about consequences of actions or lack thereof, rather than the spur of the moment opinions and decisions. Or else, consequences may spook sooner or later in a dream or nightmare.

It is amazing that people are categorized by what party or following that they seem to belong to. Wouldn’t it be better if persons individualize themselves again and stand straight for their true own thoughts and sayings, rather than seeking the shelter of a sympathizing group and seeking comfort in the word unity which results in complacency? I’m rather in a group of diverse opinions disagreeing, because it represents a challenge. It is the challenge to unify without wiping out the differences. The differences will always remain; often unspoken but living in the back of the mind and they will be brought up again at a next opportune occasion for it. Put differences aside and focus on a common positive objective. Isn’t that what the art of impartial leadership is all about?

It is difficult to sort out what dreaming is about. Oneirology is the scientific study of dreams. Who cares, except for the Oneirologists? I wondered how much money they make. I just happen to be more curious than the average cat, yet am still alive and kicking. There is no fixed salary, but it is assumed that it is about US$ 45,473 dollars annually and one has to hold advanced college degrees for it. That is more than what a Chiromancist, a Pamistry specialist makes; you know the one who reads someone’s palm of the hand somewhere in a backroom or tent and predicts good fortune for a couple of bucks.

You can give your own thumbs up for one of the four base components of dreaming as science sees it:

1. A form of thinking that occurs under minimal brain direction, external stimuli are blocked, and the part of the brain that recognizes self, shuts down.

2. A form of experience that we believed we experience through our senses.

3. Something memorable.

4. Have some interpretation of experience by self.


Although there is no official polling, but rumors go that most believe in option number one.

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to the songs and melodies of minstrels, yet one of them realizes that:

“Times are getting hard, boys, money is getting scarce,

If times don’t get much better, boys, gonna leave this place,

I promised I would buy you a big, lovely diamond ring,

The way things are turning out right now, I can’t afford a thing.

I’d give you the moon dear and the twinkling stars above,

But all that I can offer you, is my un-dying love”

One can enjoy dreaming at night. It is liking living a second life when the lights are down. Daydreaming is a common habit and often exercised related to politics. Not my kind of thing. I believe in having a vision and working towards it, and I believe in building myself a new normal version of the future. Isn’t that what everyone should think of and get at it? Building yourself your own new normal for the future, here and now, and not sit, or dream, or wait. A difficult road can lead to a beautiful destination!

About the author

Cdr. Bud Slabbaert is the Chairman and Coordinator of the Caribbean Aviation Meetup, an annual results and solution oriented conference for stakeholders of ‘airlift’ in the Caribbean. Slabbaert’s background is accentuated by aviation business development, strategic communication, and journalism. In accordance with his study of Economy in his younger years in Germany, he is authorized to carry the title of ‘State Certified Economist’.