Re-purposing: The New American Credo

Shounak Bagchi
2 min readApr 22, 2020
Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

Out of this crisis is an opportunity to build a better nation.

But in order to that, a grand re-purposing must emerge. All of us need to reconfigure our lens on society’s starkest challenges.

Our entire mindset must change. In how we think, what we think about, and the time we spend thinking about it.

This list of problems our world faces is vast: deepening inequality, growing racial disparities, climate change, dilapidated infrastructure, crumbling schools, access to insurance, fake news, corporate greed, underwhelming wage growth, subpar avenues for income mobility.

What will be required from all of us is to think about a new way forward. We can’t go back to the old policy prescriptions and the approach of the past. We must also demand more accountability, from our leaders in the public and private sector. All of us need to engage in a contextual and comprehension understanding of the important issues of our times. We must refrain from false equivalencies.

Tinkering around the edges won’t cut it. There needs to be bolder actions. Ideas once deemed impossible and idealist should be on the table. Policy proposals there were never allowed to be up for debate (the sensible ones) should be welcome. Leaders must stop recycling stale policies and conjure up new ideas to move us forward. There must be greater efforts globally too. We must coordinate on the international level on tax policy, greenhouse limits, trade, social media, and biotechnology.

All of this is feasible. We have made great pivots before. And we have come back from immense tragedies. Even if this type of struggle is new for many, it’s time to rise up to the challenge.

We must up the courage to make the necessary leaps required to have a functioning and sustainable earth moving forward. As Zadie Smith recently noted, “disasters demand a new dawn. Only a new thought can lead to a new dawn.”

Revamping our approach to important structural and systemic problems shouldn’t be treated as a utopian desire, it’s a deep necessity. Health outcomes are uneven, our medical system is in shambles, high amounts of pollutants in the atmosphere remain a problem, our financial system is tottering, black and brown families are suffering, rural residents feel hopeless, urban dwellers are drowning, and most families are struggling to get by.

It’s time to reimagine. It’s time to repurporse.

Shounak Bagchi

Founder of Honest Wednesdays and pragmatic optimist.