How to Stay Positive When the Gods of Society Have Fallen?

Yippee Ki-Yay!

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD


Photo courtesy of author

It’s difficult to turn on the news without hearing dark and cynical stories about the fallen Gods of modern society.

Think corporations, celebrities, and politicians — former icons whose reputations are tarnished or ruined, typically because of some illegal or otherwise dreadful behavior.

We live in a world where a good name is a temporary cover waiting to be revealed as a lie, and trust in anything or anyone is a diminishing commodity.

Looking back, things seemed different when I grew up in the eighties. I admired the Gods of society. We all did. They mattered and gave structure and meaning to my and everyone else’s lives.

They were our heroes.

I looked forward to working at a large multinational corporation that would care for me and my future — remember, lifetime employment was still in vogue in the early eighties.

I mimicked the athletes who inspired and motivated me. I loved to exercise in the shoes and apparel that they used.

My hardcover school diary was full of pictures of my favorite rock bands and famous Hollywood movie stars. I dreamed of being one of them, posing for photos on the red carpet and being cheered by a frenzied crowd.

Perhaps this was naïve. Almost certainly, it was. But things are different now.

No Plastic Money Anymore

I often think back to the craziness of the eighties. Rock Me Amadeus.

Yes, I am older and wiser now and have outgrown the dreams from my past. That is only normal. But I think there is more.

Previously untouchable Gods also appear to be human — and deeply flawed humans at that.

Society doesn’t accept that they just do what they want. Our stomachs turn when they misuse their status and positions in the community. Success cannot easily be leveraged into power and control anymore. It’s getting more and more challenging to get away with misbehavior and misconduct. Whether it’s pollution, harassment, or corruption, the allegations cannot simply be ignored in the days of social media and transparency.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.