While it may seem like life is melting down, there are aspects of these special times that can be helpful. I was out of the country in Senegal when states began to order business shutdowns, social distancing and restrictions to travel in Europe. Watching it from afar was strange. I was able to see how different countries handle crises and how it affects people’s reactions. There are beneficial lessons for us.
I was impressed by how proactive Senegal was with their public health preventions, even with low Covid-19 numbers. There was mandatory hand washing in public places, we had our temperature taken when we got off the plane, but most of all, there was no panic. People knew not to shake hands, but the markets were still full, and life was going on as usual. I came home last Thursday and the next day, all air travel was cancelled in and out of the country. Without warning, they clamped down on contagion. My husband was still there. Thankfully the US Embassy intervened to get him home.
When I was in Cuba, four years ago, I learned about their “Special Period”, as it is called, when the Soviet Union’s collapse nullified their financial support. Life as they knew it evaporated and they were thrown into recession, from which they have yet to recover. There was a national call to tighten up and to nurture and support innate talent. It was the impetus for the development of Cuba’s critically acclaimed expertise. Without outside help, they now have world class proficiency in medicine, the arts, music and agriculture. I see parallels for us.
Now that I’m back home, hunkered down in isolation, I’m noticing how these special times of dramatic change can offer us helpful opportunity. Here are some thoughts.
INDIVIDUALLY WE CAN:
Reconnect To What’s Important
How many of you have wished for more time alone, more time to reflect, sort and re-prioritize? It seems we had reached a point of over saturation moving too fast and doing too much. So here we are with time to hunker down and refocus. How will you make the most of this reprieve?
Suddenly we have time for our families, recognizing their importance to us. We have time to reconnect to nature – taking solace from the constancy and steadiness of Spring. We can think about what’s really important in our personal and professional life. Everything has shifted – showing us what’s important. Take this opening and understand what wants to happen in your life.
Reorganize How We Work
With many out of work or unable to go to work as it once was, we have new opportunity to consider what we want. For the many who have dreamed of being more self-sufficient and creating something online to put yourself out there, your time is now.
We are being forced to find new ways to connect and do business. Technology is our friend – yes, it’s still a distractor – but we can make it work for us. Whether you want to be more global or work from home, you have the impetus to explore your options.
COLLECTIVELY WE CAN:
Recognize We’re One World – And Act As One
We’ve been watching the ripple of the pandemic touch each country, as the whole world is on stage. We are learning from each other and counting on each to do the right thing. We are seeing the impact of slowing down modern life and retreating to simpler times by staying home.
Suddenly our environment shows sign of improvement, as evidenced in clearer water quality in Venice and better air quality in China and major cities. The assumption that these things couldn’t be easily changed is being challenged. Suddenly, taking care of the welfare of people is important. Being absorbed with greed doesn’t work in this time of crisis. We have to think and act globally. For the many who have longed for environmental change and more compassionate global awareness, this shows us what’s possible.
Support Responsible Leadership That Considers The Greater Good
Now we can clearly see how national and state policies direct people to do what is right. When it doesn’t happen, the errs of self-absorbed thinking become obvious. Attending to the greater good becomes important for everyone’s health and safety.
Who is showing leadership and what does that mean? Do you find yourself admiring those who step up and tell us the facts and the right thing to do? What’s important and how will you be a champion for doing what is right in your arena? Then remember your freedom and privilege to vote for the people who can do the right thing and take action.
We have much to learn from this special time that can help us clarify and redefine what’s important. Individually we can decipher what is essential and re-prioritize. We can reconnect to family, nature and create a work life that is attuned to our sensibilities. Collectively we can be more responsible to acting globally and support those leaders who are showing the most conscientiousness to the greater good. Let’s use this time to reset and reboot.
How are you handing this uncertain time of change? Is it creating an opening for you to consider something new or to release something old? My Transformational Life Coaching and Counseling provides support and direction through transition. If you’d like to know more, reach out to www.spectrumtransformation.com and use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I’d love to hear from you. We are all in this together!
Photo – Goree Island, Dakar Senegal
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