To All Young People (at university, at school and all others)
by Adriaan van der Berg
We are the Antinoans, believers of a loving, benevolent God who first lived as a young mortal. We realised that young people of today are perhaps going to inherit a world much changed by the Corona virus and the recent violence in some countries… Certain freedoms, abilities and opportunities we had previously enjoyed may not be available to you and your generations anymore and you may have inherited a set of new problems and challenges not faced by anyone before. And we felt we had to express solidarity with you, state our support and pronounce our hopes for you & for a better future & to at least offer you this letter.
May we begin by commending young people on their often silent endurance and for their help and assistance during the epidemic, for the supportive roles so many of them had assumed in these trying times – on which their families & communities have come to depend. Especially in countries and communities under Lockdown, you have dealt remarkably with your loss of freedom and movement and with the trying conditions imposed under Lockdown. You, possibly more than others, were under duress, challenged to cope with restrictions on those things that we traditionally take for granted as the prerogatives of the young, the very things that mark and define the lives of the young. Your generations are the first of a certain kind of new and brave young people.
However, we can not hide the deprivation, problems and challenges you face by flattering you. Rather, we should pass on to you that which you can use in confronting these things. Short on material support, we offer these words, but hoping and intending it as potentially translatable into concrete action and strategies.
First, as our spiritual leader Flamen Antonius Subia recently stated, we solemnly believe it is possible to build a new world from the one devastated and afflicted by the virus & recent violence. It might be different from that which had preceded it, without certain previous glories and graces, but we believe it can be imbued with a new sort of richness, with new crowning accomplishments and triumphs. Much of the latter, of what is possible, will depend on and comprise the quality of your humanity and the kind of people that you choose to be.
In realising this foreseen new world, a good point of departure would be a belief in humanity, in us as people and in our abilities, which means belief in yourself. Our history is marked by the overcoming of great adversity, by instances of people shaping their world and creating new lives for themselves, it is marked by human ingenuity and innovation. And at times survival measures had to be found which were no contribution towards ease of existence, nevermind lending itself to bringing beauty to people’s lives, but we endured through belief in ourselves. Trust in innovation, originality and creativity – abilities vested in you. Find and create opportunities, and be as productive as you can.
Do not deny or forget our present realities and the now constant challenges of this virus affected world, don’t neglect meeting it’s basic requirements for survival and for health imposed on all of us: That means being vigilant in protecting yourself and others against the virus and meeting all it’s attendant everyday practical requirements for ensuring your health. Make safe-living a habit and your way of life. Personal protection is a responsibility of every individual, but because we are dealing with a contagious disease, each one of us also now has a social responsibility of protecting others or those around us.
We have to mention social distancing since in a certain regard it seems so repellant, anti-social and like an expression of unspoken suspicion and fear and even of animosity towards other people. It is a necessary measure, but do not allow it to become an attitude of distrust and hostility towards others. Maintain it, but be polite in maintaining and enforcing it. Self-isolation and anti-social tendencies are fostered and bred by the very nature of the disease as contagious and by the Lockdown and quarantine sometimes imposed. Needless and excessive self-isolation will harm the individual while anti-social tendencies will be to the detriment of both individuals and others or to society at large. Do not let safety measures or certain tendencies prompt you to limit your perspectives and the horizons of your life and world. Do not grow suspicious and dismissive of people out of disproportionate fear. Cooperation on every level is required if we are to counter the virus or move beyond it and create something new.
We also condemn the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and call upon the police for restraint and to respect the people and their right to demonstrate, but we also should think of young people in this instance and have to work with you to give you social justice.
We hope to work with you for a better world. Be safe and believe in your gods or in your god if you will, but whether you believe in a god or gods or not, believe in yourself. We will stand by you and you have our support in these trying times.
From the Antinoans, believers of the God, Antinous